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Appropriate Behavior

Directed by Desiree Akhavan2013USA86 mins

Outspoken twentysomething Shirin is a bit of a mess—she can’t come out to her family, she’s in the process of breaking up with her girlfriend, and her long-term career prospects are nonexistent, unless you count teaching film to a bunch of five-year-olds who only want to talk about zombies and farts. In spite of being an unapologetic bisexual in her personal life, Shirin is still trying to live up to her Iranian family’s traditions and ideals (ideals that her snotty sibling, a surgeon, has effortlessly achieved) while regularly—and comically—hinting at her sexuality. As she navigates Brooklyn’s dating scene via online hookups, opportunistic threesomes, and desperate attempts to make her ex jealous, Shirin faces an identity crisis: it’s tough going from being one half of a Park Slope “It Couple” (at least in her own mind) to being an aimless cynic in a shabby Bushwick apartment.

Writer, director, and Sundance darling Desiree Akhavan’s semi-autobiographical Shirin both abhors and subscribes to hipster self-importance—at her best and worst, she’s sardonic, childish, amusing, and inappropriate. Peppered with flashbacks of the ups and downs of Shirin’s relationship with her ex-girlfriend, Appropriate Behavior has realistic, multifaceted characters and sharp dialogue, and it takes an honest look at the fluidity of sexuality, the process of coming out on your own terms, and the evolution of losing and finding yourself.

— Angelique Smith

Appropriate Behavior is a Frameline Completion Fund recipient.

This film is eligible for the Frameline38 Wells Fargo First Feature Award.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F103

Co-presented by:

Bay Area Bisexual Network

Expected Guests

Actor/Director Desiree Akhavan
Quick links
Desiree Akhavan
Running Time
86 mins
Frameline Completion Fund
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