Appropriate Behavior


Appropriate Behavior

Critics Consensus

Warm, funny, and quietly profound, Appropriate Behavior serves as a thoroughly compelling calling card for writer, director, and star Desiree Akhavan.



Total Count: 58


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,653
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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 escapades, while trying to decipher what went wrong with Maxine. (K.Y.) (C) Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Appropriate Behavior

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (2)

  • Unconventional but rewarding.

    Mar 6, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Akhavan has limbs like Miranda Hart and, at times, seems as desperate to please. Yet she's got real charisma. When she stops trying so hard, the film soars.

    Mar 6, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Appropriate Behaviour has an indulgent, slightly precious autobiographical feel - but it is funny, risky and in exhilaratingly bad taste.

    Mar 5, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • An original and charismatically honest New York comedy.

    Mar 5, 2015 | Rating: 4/5
  • 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.

    Jan 20, 2015 | Rating: 3/4
  • Akhavan's confidently off-kilter approach to basic human interaction makes for an authentically ironic, adorably wistful, smartly observed ride.

    Jan 17, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Appropriate Behavior

  • Jun 12, 2015
    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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2015
    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
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2015
    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 B Super Reviewer

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