Film Review: Is this ‘Appropriate Behaviour’?

For Shirin (Desiree Akhavan), being part of a perfect family isn’t easy. Acceptance eludes her from all sides: her family doesn’t know she’s bisexual, and her ex-girlfriend, Maxine (Rebecca Henderson), 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 escapades, while trying to decipher what went wrong with Maxine.

From writer/director/actress Desiree Akhavan (the unfathomable love-child of Woody Allen, Lena Dunham and Tina Fey) comes an ironic, Iranian, hipster comedy; APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR is an achingly cool, post-feminist comedy about what happens when love ends and a girl comes out.

A break up movie with difference, told with on point narrative form and a blazing Independent spirt, this movie is about the journey to post-break up redemption.

With current day exploits as Shirin deals with the madness of the relationship break up grieving process, the audience is drawn in to cleverly juxtaposed vignettes that adeptly portray and dissect the reality of the relationship itself from start to finish.

At the same time, Shirin finds a new job that offers the opportunity for some personal growth as she reflects on the behaviour of 5 year olds and has to play the grown up to them, learning there is always a time for play as well as a time for maturity. She eventually learns to face up to coming out to her family and the closure of the relationship.

Some beautiful and moving moments, perfectly flawed characters, laugh out loud awkwardness, as well as a gentle edgy tone that together create a totally appropriate feature debut for Akhavan.

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