Review: Appropriate Behaviour

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: Appropriate Behaviour

By Daryl Bär

For Shirin being part of a Persian family isn’t easy. Being unable to come out to them or explain her recent split with girlfriend Maxine (Rebecca Henderson), life becomes a long series of dramas, self-deprecation and drunken fumbling. The transition of Shirin (writer/ director/ actor Desiree Arkhavan) through a difficult break-up, picking up the pieces and coming to terms with her fears of coming out to her Persian family is keenly framed through wonderfully deadpan humour. Appropriate Behaviour tells a very personal tale embellished in a manner to make it cinematically accessible without ever sacrificing its emotional resonance.

Obvious comparisons to TV show “Girls” aside, there’s a fine line between posturing against the hipster scene and actually being an accessory to it. While there are some great witticisms throughout one can’t help but wonder if this film’s target audience are too cool to crack a smile at the humanistic levity on display. That’s not to say Appropriate Behaviour isn’t worth a watch. Arkhavan creates strong character dynamics and staves off dramatic clichés, elsewhere Josephine Wiggs (of Breeders) scores scenes with her signature sounds. There’s a great deal to mull over once your 90 minutes are up but it may all come off as “too cool” and inaccessible for some.



Appropriate Behaviour opens in the UK March 6th.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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