Appropriate Behaviour (2014)

Appropriate Behaviour (2014)

Directed By Desiree Akhavan

Starring: Desiree Akhavan

Empire: 3 Stars                        Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Was it actually funny?
Yes, Appropriate Behaviour is funny but not laugh out loud funny, more like gently smiling at the screen kind of funny. Desiree Akhavan relies heavily on deadpan and sarcastic humour, which few people can actually make work.  I cringe at all the people who use the word sarcastic when referring to their personalities, let’s be real; sarcasm is nothing more than annoying if it isn’t good. Luckily for Desiree, she provides a well balanced mixture of intelligent deadpan and sarcastic humour reminiscent of Woody Allen.

I particularly enjoyed scenes that poked fun at the hipster stereotypes and clichés that exist in Brooklyn e.g. the aimless artist. Desiree Akhavan’s character Shirin is a hipster as well, but that’s the irony, whoever is hipster usually dislikes the term as it rids them of their individuality. Hipsters make fun of hipsters, kind of like how I used to poke fun at what I imagined bloggers to be, but now I am one of them.

Who should we thank behind the scenes?
Even though the market for films and TV shows similar to Appropriate Behaviour such as Tiny Furniture, Obvious Child and Frances Ha is saturated, Desiree Akhavan brings something new to this genre. Desiree should be thanked as the writer and director of Appropriate Behaviour she has managed to tap into and reflect the isolating factors of the character Shirin, who is a 20 something year old, bisexual, Iranian- American woman who lives in New York. Desiree Akhavan allows you through the film get a sense of her real life experience, even though it is a comedy, it isn’t as whimsical as the other films mentioned above e.g. Frances Ha which makes it more realistic and relatable.

What messages are in the film?
There wasn’t an overarching message for you to take home and mull over, per say, but rather the film gives you small messages about living life in your twenties to chew on. I related to the characters’ Shirin feeling in a state of arrested development, I am sure most people in their twenties can relate to the feeling of being here but not quite there.Desiree Akhavan taps into the conundrum that perplexes most people born between 1982 and 1991.The film explores all the insecurity and existential questions that plague our twenties such as why aren’t I happy? Where do I fit in? Why isn’t this working? What do I need to?  How much time do I have?

What did I like?
I enjoyed how the film explores what it means to be a person of two worlds; Shirin is of Iranian origin but was brought up in New York. I really relate to this as a Nigerian who was brought up in England, It is awkward situation to find yourself in as an adult, because you realize you don’t fit in with one particular group of people.  So the main message that I found comforting about this film is that there is always someone out there who has the same issues as you and it is always nice to know that someone else in the world understands our problems.

Should there be a sequel?
Perhaps not a sequel of this particular movie, but I am excited to see movies that are similar to this. I look forward to watching whatever Desiree Akhavan comes up with next. Appropriate behaviour was financed by a UK company, Parkville Pictures, took 18 days to shoot and cost less than £350,000. I wonder what Desiree Akhavan will be able to develop with a bigger budget.

You can catch Desiree Akhavan on a couple of Episodes of Girls Season 4


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