For Shirin (Desiree Akhavan), 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 (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 pansexual escapades, while trying to decipher what went wrong with Maxine. Written and directed by Akhavan, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR introduces a grey area to the coming-out narrative; in an Iranian-American family, sharing information about one's sexuality isn't always the right approach to liberation. With her priceless deadpan delivery, Akhavan's portrayal of Shirin is the film's true revelation - a woman caught between self-doubt and self-possession, trapped in a web of family mores and societal expectations, with all their accompanying - and often hilarious - complexities.
Starring Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Halley Feiffer
Director Desiree Akhavan