Lena Dunham might just be the best thing that has happened to Hollywood since, well, I’m not quite sure what to compare it to, it has been WAY too long. Let’s just say that she is a breath of fresh air amidst the smoggy, money sucking, energy extracting, creativity crippling, corporate controlling, soul trampling environment that is the West Coast film industry. With the focus on blockbuster films with budgets big enough to feed starving third world nations (which is probably one of the most heart wrenching realities about this business), it leaves little hope for the little engines that think they can, think they can, think they can, make it over the American dream promising mountain paved with garbage and the occasional thought-provoking piece of cinema. Dunham brings hope to every little independent film maker out there, letting them know that yes you can write, direct, and star in a film about something you are passionate about, and you do not need hoards of money, stellar locations, perfect lighting, or an all-star cast of actors. In fact, being average, with nails that have not seen a nail salon, hair that gets brushed and washed once a week, skin that might consider wearing make-up but doesn’t, and a body that clearly does not spend seven days a week in the gym instigating eating disorders for viewers is perfectly acceptable. Dunham brings all of this to the table and is still beautiful, and not just in the “well she has a good personality and is really smart” sense of the word. She is exquisite and I applaud her for giving the middle finger to the big H for their unrealistic expectations of female beauty in their spec of a town.
The film Tiny Furniture (2010) kick started Dunham’s career as she is now the star, creator, director, writer, and executive producer of the hit HBO series Girls, which is why this station is the only one I have remained loyal to over the years. Watch it now if you have not already. Anyways, one of the main reasons I praise her film so much is that I swear it is about me. She returns home after university with nothing but a film studies degree (accurate), no relationship (accurate accurate), and no direction with her life (beyond accurate). Thus, the narrative unfolds. Back in New York City, she bickers with her mother, loathes and loves her younger sister, rekindles and discards friendships, works an uninspiring job for less than minimum wage, and attempts to find love, but ends up just having sex in a pipe in the streets, which she reveals to her mother as they lay together in bed before calling it a night. The emotion is raw, the experiences are realistic, and there is no attempt to shield the audience from the awkward everyday encounters and conversations. I’m not saying that we have all had intercourse on or in random street object, but this act stands for something deeper, something more revealing. She has hit rock bottom and knows now that she needs to escape this pipe dream (ha!) of having a serious relationship with a guy she gives it all away to the first time they hang out and start concentrating on herself, her needs, her ambitions, and discovering who she is without a male companion. I cannot praise this film or Dunham more than I already have and it is a perfect segway into her television show, as the dry sense of humour and focus on witty dialogue between characters transfers nicely.