Appropriate Behavior (2015)
Critic Consensus: Warm, funny, and quietly profound, Appropriate Behavior serves as a thoroughly compelling calling card for writer, director, and star Desiree Akhavan.
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Critic Reviews for Appropriate Behavior
Approaching contentious topics with clarity and tact and attempting to find the correct balance between irony and outright offence within a comedic context can often be a tricky affair.
Appropriate Behavior marks a strong first-time effort for the director, and establishes her ability as both a filmmaker and as an actress with considerable screen presence.
Ms. Akhavan shows promise as an assured director, a talented writer and an interesting actress.
What seems most promising about Akhavan's directing talent is her very specific eye.
The terrific film captures, among other things, the terror of trying to get back into the dating scene when you don't really fit into any scene.
Audience Reviews for Appropriate Behavior
As a bisexual I can safely say that there aren't many depictions of us out there, and the ones that do exist aren't anything positive. Director, writer, and star of "Appropriate Behavior," Desiree Akhavan, shows the common intersections between her world and that of her conservative Persian family in this semi-autobiographical indie film.
Read more at http://www.bluefairyblog.com/reviews/2015/5/9/appropriate-behavior
It is well edited and has its moments, both comedic and dramatic, but its mistake(s) is that it isn't as funny or insightful as it thinks it is and relies on a quirky protagonist that most of the times comes off as selfish and terribly unlikable with her narcissistic conflicts.
This is in the same class of film as Jenny Slate's Obvious Child. Both are very funny and deal with relationship woes. Shirin played by writer/director Desiree Akhavan is trying to define her identity. She has spent her life moving further and further away from the expectations of her Persian family. She struggles, but makes the best of a new daycare teaching job, and yet it is not a career that defines her either. She claims to be bi-sexual, but is devastated when she loses a long-term girlfriend. She fumbles trying to get involved in a three-way, which is where the poster image comes from, when she ignores the husband and gives all her attention to the wife. Sadly, it is as if she is claiming the bi-sexual label just to hold on to some remnant of what her family would deem appropriate behavior instead of embracing her true and frightening feelings for her girlfriend Maxine (Henderson). In flashbacks we see their relationship develop, though jealousy and fear of total commitment break them apart. As the plot jumps around in time Shirin must weigh if she should get back together with Maxine or move on with her life whether her family will approve or not.
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