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Tiny Furniture [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 6 September 2012
It's a curious independent movie that falls into the usual traps of its type.

1. Too amorphous and plotless for its own good.

2. It shies away from any big dramatic fireworks, as if it's embarrassed that someone might say that it was unrealistic. Even when people are shouting at each other it's still grounded in the mundane reality of a quick loss of temper followed by apologies.

3. The ending is unsatisfying. The exact end point is precision picked for maximum randomness so that every single audience member can go, "What, was that it?"

The female characters were well drawn and had a warmth to them. The male characters on the other hand were all unpleasant and highly unlikeable. I don't know if it was because she couldn't write rounded male characters, or she was trying to make a point. Perhaps it's an accurate depiction of confusing, seemingly inscrutable male behaviour from a woman's perspective?

Not much of a plot emerged, and it was hard to be certain were the film was going as it didn't have a clear destination. There is a lack of focus on what the film is actually about. I guess it's mostly about her "romances", but neither of those two plotlines came to much of a conclusion.*

The title is a little pointless as the model furniture is a small detail of no significance or importance. There is no thematic relevance to her mother photographing them.

It was made on a shoestring budget of $50,000, and two of the main cast are the mother and sister of the lead actress-writer-director. Most of the movie was shot in their own home.

Apparently it was filmed using a very cheap, standard domestic high definition camera called a Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR. Visually it's a well photographed movie. It's not dingy or bad looking. I assume proper lighting equipment was used to make it look that nice. I thought it was odd that they filmed it in 2.35:1 widescreen, which is rather wide for a film that consists mostly of people talking.

The editing was often quite minimalist with some scenes shot as unbroken long takes. They were not riveting to look at, but she never held them so long that they became annoying.

The film was okay and the story was mildly eventful. The characters were interesting so I was never bored or left wondering why I was watching it. Although it doesn't add up to much in the end, I found it to be consistently entertaining.


* One character just dropped out of the film before the end. The other situation was kind of left hanging. Well it was resolved in some ways I suppose. The film left it up to the audience to work out what, if anything, was going to happen next.
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on 29 July 2015
Given that she was 17 when she made this film, it's a remarkable achievement. Good, wry, cringe-inducing observations about how we can kid ourselves that someone is worth all the effort. And a clear pre-cursor to Girls. A fairer mark would be three and a half stars, but that doesn't seem to be an option. It's an interesting film, but probably only because of knowing her subsequent work.
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on 18 January 2016
No Spoilers. Lena Dunham’s debut and very much a prototype for her TV show GIRLS. Lena comes home to stay with her mum, has a difficult time adapting to no longer being in education, meets friends, struggles with relationships, screams, drinks, swears, funny but dark in places, great dialogue and yeah it’s a lot like GIRLS. Two Elephants in the room: Yes, it’s very Woody Allen but if he was from my generation and Yes why should we care about rich people with very first world problems? Don’t have an answer for that one, it just works, I don’t relate to having that much money and privilege but I relate to being a young adult, stressed and struggling to find their place in the world and that’s what Lena Dunham is all about. So many people will find it smug hipster pish but I don’t care, I love it, it has Jessa from GIRLS in it also whom I adore. I find it funny, charming and highly relatable. Watch GIRLS first because if you don’t like that then you’ll hate this twice as much.
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on 12 August 2017
I'm a bit late to the Lena Dunham party, but I'm so glad I've joined. Having binged watched the entire Girls collection, I needed something to fill the gap. This had some great reviews and I wasn't disappointed. It follows a similar format to Girls with a few of the actors that featured in the show. It's another great piece of work by Dunham and I highly recommend it.
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on 13 January 2015
Tiny Furniture is a debut film about nothing interesting but it is a perfect launchpad for Lena Dunham.

As in 'Girls', she has an energy about her that is endearing but don't expect this film to have any of the wit and contemporary cultural references that most of the 'Girls' audience will most likely be expecting.

It's O-kay. Not sure if it's Okay.
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on 10 January 2016
Very boring. Had to fat forward to see the ending and even that wasn't worth it. None of the comedy and wit that is in girls. Lack of any storyline. Greatly disappointing. Lena is unlikeable in this film, as are most of the characters.
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on 10 September 2015
Not worth seeing if you've already watched girls.
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on 26 May 2014
Loved it. I love Lena Dunham n whole cast anyway that's why I purchased :)) wd b interested in anything she is involved in.
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on 15 June 2014
Lena Dunham is just superb! If you're a fan of Girls, this is an ideal film! Very witty and odd humour!
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on 4 July 2013
my daughter watched it. she likes "girls" the hbo show but didn't find this very interesting. i don't think you should have a required number of words for your reviews.
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