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.

Movie Info

For Shirin, being part of a perfect Persian family isn't easy. Acceptance eludes her from all sides: her family doesn't know she's bisexual, and her ex-girlfriend, Maxine, can't understand why she doesn't tell them. Even the six-year-old boys in her moviemaking class are too ADD to focus on her for more than a second. Following a family announcement of her brother's betrothal to a parentally approved Iranian prize catch, Shirin embarks on a private rebellion involving a series of pansexual … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Desiree Akhavan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 31, 2015
Gravitas Ventures - Official Site


as Crystal

as Nasrin

as Mehrdad
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Critic Reviews for Appropriate Behavior

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (11)

Akhavan's most effective resource as a storyteller is her own face, a sometimes Chaplinesque blend of farce and pathos. She is a big talent to watch.

Full Review… | January 20, 2015
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Akhavan's confidently off-kilter approach to basic human interaction makes for an authentically ironic, adorably wistful, smartly observed ride.

Full Review… | January 17, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

If the lead character in Girls were a bisexual Iranian woman trying to navigate modern life in hipsterish Brooklyn ... it might come out something like Appropriate Behavior...

Full Review… | April 27, 2015

It's a film offering us a rare perspective and highlighting why having female, LGBTQ, and minority perspectives as a whole are so woefully missed and so entirely necessary.

Full Review… | April 20, 2015
The Young Folks

It is admittedly another entry into the hip New York twenty-something subgenre. It is also, however, a frank and very funny debut from an interesting new talent.

Full Review… | March 16, 2015
The Skinny

[Akhavan is] a whiz at writing characters whose life seems to extend beyond their brief screentime.

Full Review… | March 11, 2015
New Statesman

Audience Reviews for Appropriate Behavior

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.

Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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