★★★ | Appropriate Behaviour
For Shirin, a twentysomethingyear old angst ridden fashionable Brooklynite, life is mess.
We don’t need to feel sorry for her, as she does that so well herself. She is reluctantly breaking up with Maxine her girlfriend and leaving the home they shared with little more than a strap on dildo. She is moving into a shabby squalid apartment with a pair of pretentious ‘artists’. Her nice middle class Iranian parents, who have no idea about her sexual identity, would like her to marry a nice traditional Persian boy. Her over-achieving brother is a doctor, whilst Shirin wastes her journalism degree and just flits from one menial job to another. And if that is not enough, she is broke too.
The trouble is Shirin doesn’t know what she wants. She starts dating men again, whilst at the same time tries all she can do to woo a reluctant Maxine back. Her attempts at ‘finding herself’ make for some of the funnier moments in this comic story that is based loosely on the life of Desiree Akhavan who not only directed and wrote it, but is playing Shirin herself too. It’s her performance that makes this piece come alive even with its gaping holes. When Shirin attempts a three-way with a neurotic couple, or has a hook-up from a website, or makes a disruptive visit to a gay rights discussion group it is outrageously funny.
Ms. Akhavan has written herself some delicious one-liners.
Her scenes with her parents are less successful as it’s hard to believe that such worldly educated people would never have a single inkling as to what their free-spirit bisexual daughter is all about.
The story peters out with little conclusion other than the fact that Ms Akhavan is an immensely talented performer and is a powerful presence on the screen. I am sure that we will see a great deal more of this future star.