17 user 71 critic

Appropriate Behavior (2014)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 16 January 2015 (USA)
1:52 | Trailer
Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, politically correct bisexual and hip young Brooklynite but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Being without a cliché to hold onto can be a lonely experience.


Desiree Akhavan


Desiree Akhavan (screenplay)
2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Desiree Akhavan ... Shirin
Rebecca Henderson ... Maxine
Halley Feiffer ... Crystal
Ryan Fitzsimmons ... Brendan
Anh Duong ... Nasrin
Hooman Majd Hooman Majd ... Mehrdad
Arian Moayed ... Ali
Justine Cotsonas ... Layli
Scott Adsit ... Ken
Maryann Urbano Maryann Urbano ... Jackie (as Maryan Urbano)
Michael Lonergan Michael Lonergan ... Jacques
Annalisa Graziano Annalisa Graziano ... Felicia
D'Monaye D'Jara Careathers D'Monaye D'Jara Careathers ... Caribbean Nanny
Jake Katzman ... Groucho
Kyle Ty Lewis Kyle Ty Lewis ... Kujo (as Kyle Lewis)


For Shirin, 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, 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 by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Desiree Akhavan's directorial film debut. See more »


Shirin: I just hate the way dudes get when they can't maintain an erection.
Maxine: What do they get like?
Shirin: Oh, are you a gold star?
Maxine: No, I've had sex with men, just um... not the kind who go soft.
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Referenced in Dykes, Camera, Action! (2018) See more »


Written and performed by Josephine Wiggs
Published by Naked Mole Rat Music/BMI
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User Reviews

nice indie debut
27 November 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

In Brooklyn, Shirin is lost after breaking up with her girlfriend Maxine. She's got a Masters in journalism but no job. Her Persian family doesn't know about her bisexuality. Her brother is annoyingly successful. Her boy-crazy friend Crystal recommends her to Ken (Scott Adsit) for a job teaching movie-making to kids but it turns out to be more like daycare. There are constant flashbacks to her relationship with Maxine as she tries to move on with other people.

At its heart, the movie is the traditional single-gal-in-the-city. Desiree Akhavan infuses it with a little bit of a Persian family and bisexuality which keeps it fresh. Her writing is pretty good especially for her theatrical debut. There are a couple of really good laughs. Buying a bra scene is really funny with Crystal's reactions. I also love her mother's reaction to her coming out. Desiree's acting is pretty good but not great. Overall, this is a nice little angsty indie and hopefully this is the start of an interesting new voice.

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English | Persian

Release Date:

16 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Appropriate Behavior See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,114, 18 January 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Parkville Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs



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