Tiny Furniture

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Tiny Furniture Movie Poster Image
Slow drama about post-college life has sex, drinking, etc.
  • NR
  • 2010
  • 99 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's important to take control of your life rather than let yourself get pushed or pulled into whatever is going on around you. Aura slowly learns this lesson after some unsatisfying experiences with jobs, friends, and love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Aura, a very recent college graduate, is trying very hard to figure out what to do with herself, though mostly she just drifts through her days, seemingly content with whatever happens to her. Finally, she actually makes some choices, and though they may not be great ones, she's at least making an effort to direct herself.

Violence

Some intense arguments among family members.

Sex

One extremely disheartening sex scene. There's no nudity, and it's tough to imagine an encounter that's less erotic, for either the participants or the viewers. Some discussions of sex.

Language

Fairly frequent swearing includes "s--t", "a--hole," and "f--k," used as both an expletive and a descriptive verb.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink, smoke cigarettes, get high on marijuana, and pop pills. One scene features high school students drinking at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this post-college drama features an aimless character, along with plenty of swearing, drinking, smoking, drugs, and sex. Expect to hear "f--k," "s--t," and "a--hole" fairly frequently and see teens drinking, along with young adults smoking pot and taking pills. One sex scene (without nudity) shows a less romantic side of intimacy.

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What's the story?

Aura (Lena Dunham, who also wrote and directed) has just finished college and moved home to her family's New York loft to ... well, not do much. She's got no job, no plans, and few prospects. She goes to a few parties, gets a tedious job at a restaurant, and gets kind-of involved with a few guys who clearly aren't good boyfriend material. In short, she's drifting.

Is it any good?

TINY FURNITURE, like the character Aura, drifts. On one hand, this is a well-made, artistic portrayal of a girl who doesn't know what to do with herself. Aura, and the rest of the cast, seem very real, very natural. Every day, there are real twentysomethings behaving exactly like this.

But while this makes Tiny Furniture spot-on filmmaking, it doesn't make it particularly interesting to watch. Aura is bored with her life because there isn't much going on. And the film, for exactly the same reasons, is tedious.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Aura's life is portrayed. How realistic is it? Do you know anyone like Aura? How is her life similar to or different than other young adults you know?

  • Talk about Aura's romantic encounters. What does she learn about relationships and sex over the course of the movie?

  • Does the drug and alcohol use feel realistic? Do all young adults experiment with drugs? What are some consequences of drug and alcohol use?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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