Appropriate Behavior

"Excellent"

Appropriate Behavior Review


With an astute and very funny script, this quirky comedy is packed with entertaining characters and situations that continually catch the audience by surprise. Actor-filmmaker Desiree Akhavan's style is reminiscent of the TV series Girls (a show she has appeared on), as she plays a flawed young woman doing the best to get through her chaotic life in the big city. And there's a clear sense that she knows all to well what she's talking about.

Akhavan plays Shirin, a young woman who feels like life has dealt her a double-whammy: she's bisexual and Persian. Her Iranian parents (Anh Duong and Hooman Majd) prefer to avoid her sexuality, so they never acknowledge the fact that she is still reeling from her breakup with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). And her brother (Arian Moayed) wants her to be quiet about it so he can marry his fiancee (Justine Cotsonas) before the family peace is disrupted. To get on with her life, Shirin rents a room with hipster roommates in Brooklyn and turns to her best friend Crystal (Halley Feiffer) for support. But without a job, her prospects are limited, so she finds some work through a stoner friend (Scott Adsit) and has a go at teaching filmmaking to 5-year-olds.

There isn't much of an actual plot here, just a series of life experiences that push Shirin one way or another. And all of them are hilarious. Intriguingly, the film builds up a sense of narrative momentum in the flashbacks that trace Shirin's relationship with Maxine, most notably the ways it is affecting her life after the breakup. Akhavan's script is packed with bristly dry comedy that's intelligent and surprisingly resonant. Even as the story touches on important issues like coming out to the family, it never feels preachy simply because it's so truthful.

And Akhavan plays Shirin engagingly as a strong-willed woman desperate to get her life on some kind of track. The people around her are wonderfully written and played, making the most of the script's goofier moments while creating characters who feel like one-offs. Frankly we'd like to see more of all of them, especially those riotously creepy flatmates. And best of all is the way Akhavan undercuts the comedy with emotions that are sometimes too vividly easy to sympathise with. All of us knows how it feels to think that no one loves us. And the film is a reminder that at those moments it helps to remember that the people around us care more than we think they do.


Appropriate Behavior Trailer

 



Appropriate Behavior

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th January 2015

Distributed by: Gravitas Ventures

Production compaines: Parkville Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Desiree Akhavan

Producer: Cecilia Frugiuele

Starring: Desiree Akhavan as Shirin, Rebecca Henderson as Maxine, as Crystal, as Ken, as Nasrin, Hooman Majd as Merhdad, Arian Moayed as Ali, Justine Cotsonas as Layli, Daniella Rabbani as Meenu, James Claude Bristow as Henry (as James Bristow), as Sasha, Rosalie Lowe as Tibet, Christopher James Baker as Ted (as Chris Baker), as Marie (as Robin Rikoon), Ian Unterman as George, as Kate, Lingerie Saleswoman, Olan Montgomery as Joseph Henderson, Cody DeFranco as John Francis

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