Twenty two year-old Aura ( Dunham) lives a hipsterish existence in TriBeCa, boosting a film theory degree, a pet hamster and a boyfriend who's abandoned her in favour of the Burning Man Festival. Then, when things can't get any worse, she's forced to move into her artist mum's house.
The debuting Lena Dunham makes an impression with this low-budget satire on life in boho Tribeca and the difficulty of finding a niche when all around are either over-achieving or revelling in mediocrity. Casting her own mother and sister as the major sources of angst for her flailing twentysomething film graduate, Dunham adds some semi-autobiographical bite to a refreshingly insightful comedy that owes debts to Seinfeld, Woody Allen and mumblecore. Dunham does a nice line in self-deprecation that extends to giving killer lines to her mother and sibling, as well as Jemima Kirke, who excels as her bubble-headed best friend. But it’s the precision of the writing and the timing of the gags that make this so engaging.
Much-maligned it may be, but the so-called mumblecore movement continues to turn out gems. Lena Dunham's lo-fi, witty treatment of a semi-autobiographical tale adds another dozy to the canon.
Reviewed by David Parkinson