Tiny Furniture (2010, Lena Dunham)

“I saw that your dyslexic stripper video got like 400 hits!”

An inventively well-shot movie with mostly static camera, the opposite of the handicam mumblecore thing I’d expected. Apparently most people can’t tell one kind of movie from another, so Criterion enlisted Paul Schrader to explain exactly how this is not a mumblecore movie, and they also put writer/director/star Lena Dunham in a room to converse with Nora Ephron – an unlikely but pleasing set of extras. I liked the movie more than I expected to, and kept liking it more after it ended. A good comedy that never acts outright comedic – not overwritten, with flawed characters who are obviously not idiots, just people with real problems dealing with ordinary life.

Lena at left, with skeptical-looking friend:

P. Lopate: “Lena Dunham’s work is related to this mainstream comedy of embarrassment, but she takes it one bold step further, producing a much more subtle and sophisticated comedy of chagrin. And in Dunham’s world, there is no happy ending, only an enlightened realism.”

Looks like a Dylan album cover:

Lena plays “Aura,” back in NYC after college in Ohio, and casts her actual mom and sister as her mom and sister, which makes some of the character conversations even more awkward/hilarious if you think about it. Aura sabotages her relationship with her college-best-friend Merritt Wever (hotel girl in that short The Strange Ones) and falls back in with her NYC best-friend Jemima Kirke. She hosts an internet-famous artist (Alex Karpovsky of Beeswax) at her house, gets a restaurant job with sous-chef David Call (the older boy in The Strange Ones, “kinda American Psycho-looking”) and spends most of the movie trying to get either of them to want to have sex with her.

Lena and her sous-chef:

Anyway, I’m sure I should have watched Creative Nonfiction first, because now it’ll probably take me years to get to it, as newer, shinier movies keep coming out and screaming for attention.

Lena’s mom tells her that lightbulbs are “in the white cabinet”: