Tiny Furniture reminds me a lot of Noah Baumbach’s solo work, except that Dunham never pushes her movie's tone as far as Baumbach does. In other words, her characters never feel as quirky or snarky as Baumbach’s sometimes do, which I consider a good thing. Baumbach’s characters typically make me squirm, and not in a good way. Instead of leaning in to learn more about them, I typically want to get as far away from them as possible. (If I like anything Baumbach’s had his hands on, it’s because Wes Anderson’s been there to bring a lighter, more earnest touch, as in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr. Fox.)
Dunham’s characters, by comparison, feel authentic and relatable, even if they’re privileged in a way I’m not. Aura wants to form an identity separate from her family’s, something we all have to do eventually, regardless of wealth. If she complains about her first world problems, they are at least first world problems that go beyond the borders of class, which puts Tiny Furniture leaps and bounds ahead of a trivial movie like Baumbach’s Greenberg.
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