Let’s be honest, most American romantic comedies are quite frankly awful. They mostly fall into two categories: cliche-riddled cheese-fests or over-melodramatic nonsense. We’re not much better ourselves in the UK. Every so often though an indie rom-com appears which bucks the trend. In the tradition of Greenberg, Juno, Lost in Translation, In A World and the ‘Before’ trilogy, Appropriate Behaviour is smart, intelligent and extremely funny.
Shirin (Desiree Akhavan) has split up with her partner Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). She’s also struggling to live up to her mother’s expectations of what the perfect Persian daughter should be. Shirin has to hide her bisexuality from her parents, although she suspects they may suspect as the pair shared a bed for “economic reasons”. As a young Brooklynite, she tries to conform to all society’s norms whilst not being able to come to terms with the person she perceives herself to be.
Appropriate Behaviour is a clever and amusing comedy drama driven by a fantastic central performance by Desiree Akhavan. Indeed, she also wrote and directed the film. Understated direction and an impressive script underpins a thoughtfulness and intelligence which eschews the normal tropes and cliches. Appropriate Behaviour is a grown-up comedy for those struggling to find their way in life.
Appropriate Behaviour is released on DVD by Peccadillo Pictures on Monday.