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Meet Desiree Akhavan, and take note. The soon-to-be guest-star in the upcoming fourth season of HBO’s Girls (premieres on Jan. 11) is also the director-writer-star of the Indie Spirit Award-nominated Appropriate Behavior, whose trailer hit online on Friday and will be in theaters on Jan 16.
Coming off the film’s Sundance premiere, Akhavan was drawing early comparisons to her Girls boss — “the lesbian Lena Dunham” being a common description — as Appropriate Behavior, like the popular HBO show, explores the sexual politics of being single and underemployed in Brooklyn.
While Akhavan’s Brooklyn may remind many of Girls, Appropriate Behavior is more Woody Allen than Dunham. Structured like Annie Hall, the film opens with Shirin (Akhavan) sifting through her life after breaking up with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson).
As Shirin is forced to move in with pretentious artists and goes on a string of painful one-night stands, the film flashes back to tell the story of Shirin and Maxine’s relationship in an effort to examine what went wrong. Akhavan, who wrote the film after a real break-up, takes embarrassing details from her own life to create her own unique brand of awkward comedy.
What also distinguishes Akhavan’s Shirin from the growing number of confused 20-something Brooklyn-ites flooding film and TV these days is her character’s Iranian-American background. A major source of the tension in her relationship with Maxine is her inability to tell her Iran-born parents that she is bisexual.
Gravitas Ventures picked up the North American distribution rights back in August and will be releasing the film in theaters and VOD on Jan 16. You can watch the trailer below:
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