The romantic breakup of roommates Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) and Shirin (Desiree Akhavan) leads to growing pains for the latter in “Appropriate Behavior.” (Gravitas Ventures)

Remember the name Desiree Akhavan. You’re going to be hearing it a lot in the future.

She’s the writer, director and star of “Appropriate Behavior,” which has drawn comparisons to the television show “Girls.” In fact, the film landed Akhavan a part on Season 4 of Lena Dunham’s series.

Like the HBO show, the movie follows a 20-something New Yorker adrift, fumbling her way through social interactions and breakups, family get-togethers and job interviews. But in this case, Akhavan’s Shirin is bisexual and Iranian, which adds another compelling layer to the narrative. Shirin is very close to her family — her teasing interactions with her parents and brother are some of the movie’s funniest highlights — but she remains in the closet, even giving her parents absurd explanations for why she and her live-in girlfriend share a bed.

“Appropriate Behavior” begins with a breakup. Shirin rides the subway looking morose, and the movie intercuts the character’s painful road to acceptance with flashbacks to the highs and lows of the relationship, always giving us a little more information about why Shirin and Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) were never really meant to be.

The movie has a low-budget and haphazard feel, much the same way Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture” did, and it seems poised to become a similar cult classic for young urbanites. Viewers in that demographic might find themselves nodding in agreement with Shirin’s underwhelming ­OkCupid dates and less-than-ideal living arrangements (after the breakup, she moves into a group house with a couple of eccentric artists).

Shirin is relentlessly self-effacing. When someone tells her she could be a model, she says, “Yeah, a before model for Accutane.” But Akhavan has great comic timing and a wonderful screen presence that, much like Dunham’s, is not at all self-conscious. In that same vein, Akhavan doesn’t shy from stripping down or putting herself into scenarios, sexual and otherwise, that will make some viewers squirm. (A scene involving a threesome comes to mind.)

But pushing the envelope is partly the point. Comedy today is less about punch lines and pratfalls and more about eliciting that laugh-gasp hybrid. And those jokes come constantly in “Appropriate Behavior.”

On paper, the movie seems like it might have only niche appeal. But this lesbian breakup comedy about a Persian woman with a serious case of arrested development will speak to a broad audience, specifically the one that’s glued to HBO every Sunday night. And that should be more than enough to launch Akhavan’s career.

★ ★ ★

Unrated. At West End Cinema. Contains strong language, nudity, drug use and sex. 90 minutes.