I should preface this post by saying I haven’t seen an episode of HBO’s Girls. I want to, but we gave up on cable a few months ago. Anyway, haven’t seen it.
So, I went into Tiny Furniture with no real expectations beyond the tidal wave of press and reviews Girls got before and during its first season.
Tiny Furniture introduces us to Aura, played by writer/director Lena Dunham. Aura’s just graduated from college in Ohio and moved in with her overachieving high school-age sister and artist mom. Her mother makes a living selling art pieces featuring small versions of furniture, etc. Hence the title. She’s planning on moving in with an Ohio friend, and runs into an old childhood friend who tries to rekindle their fizzled bond.
The mix of nostalgia and insecurity is a potent one, and Dunham does a great job of capturing that weird period between college and having a career, after your first real relationship. Dunham deftly avoids the easy gag and gives each character a distinctive voice, and I found myself feeling really anxious throughout the film, mainly because I could relate to a lot of what the movie was about. Perhaps not the specifics, but the same feeling of trying to figure out who you are and how that jibes with who you wanted to be before you started to really experience the world. I did feel pretty old, however, midway through the film when I turned to Eva and said “I hate every character in this movie except her mom and best friend.”
Tiny Furniture was worth the time, and made me angrier that you have to be an HBO subscriber to stream their shows, because I want to watch Girls sooner rather than later.