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.
Continue reading: Appropriate Behavior Review
Sometimes it can be difficult to discover who you truly are. For Shirin (Desiree Akhavan), this is doubly true. Trying to balance the life of an ideal daughter her Iranian parents, keeping up with the social life and intrigue of Brooklyn and coming to terms with her own bisexuality, Shirin has had an awful lot on her mind, and has been out of work for months. As she fails at each of her own chosen lifestyles, Shirin slowly has to learn who she really is, before she can work on who she wants to be.
Continue: Appropriate Behaviour Trailer
Dennis is a Canadian former thief who’s just been released on parole, only to come back to New York find that his wife Therese is no longer interested in knowing him and has told his young daughter that he died of cancer. What’s more, finding a job is almost impossible given his criminal past and the current economic state so his hopes of building a life on the straight-on-the-narrow are looking scuppered. However, an opportunity arises when his former partner in crime Rene offers him a job selling Christmas trees in Brooklyn – unfortunately, Rene has now become involved with Therese. Embittered and furious, Dennis is forced to hold on to the poor card life has dealt him if he wants to make sure he can buy his daughter a long yearned for piano for Christmas.
‘All Is Bright’ is a comedy drama that does not fail to tug on the old heartstrings now and again. It may be a little early to start thinking on the upcoming festive season, but this really is a story of family and personal values for all year round. It has been directed by Phil Morrison ('Junebug', 'Upright Citizens Brigade', 'Perfect Partner') and is the screen debut of screenwriter Melissa James Gibson. It will be released in US theatres on October 4th 2013.
Halley Feiffer Tuesday 13th September 2011 New York premiere of 'Completeness' at the Playwrights Horizon Theatre - Arrivals New York City, USA
It's Park Slope, Brooklyn, circa 1986, and the Berkman family is splitting up at the mid-swing of the pendulum of the adults' professional lives. On the downswing is the father, Bernard (Jeff Daniels), a professor and once-celebrated writer. Linney plays the mother, Joan, a blossoming writer coming out from under Bernard's shadow. He's been distant and awful, she's had affairs and been generally resentful, so now Bernard is moving to a falling-down house on the far side of Prospect Park while she gets to keep the gorgeous brownstone. The kids, of course, get screwed, with split custody keeping them in one house for half the week and the other house for the rest. Ensuring that things will stay nice and dysfunctional, the kids choose sides, with teenaged Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) sticking with Bernard and even picking up his mannerisms, while younger Frank (Owen Kline) throws in with Joan.
Continue reading: The Squid And The Whale Review
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With an astute and very funny script, this quirky comedy is packed with entertaining characters...
Sometimes it can be difficult to discover who you truly are. For Shirin (Desiree Akhavan),...
Dennis is a Canadian former thief who’s just been released on parole, only to come...