The Boy Downstairs - This Movie Rocks
Dir: Sophie Brooks
Starring Zosia Mamet, Matthew Shear, Deirdre O'Connell, Sarah Ramos, Diana Irvine, Arlis Howard
There’s a good deal to like and a great deal of charm in writer-director Brooks’ debut romcom. Set in the always affluent (even for millennial shop workers) world of Manhattan brownstones, much of that charm comes from Mamet, here moving subtly beyond her Girls image. She is Diana, a young aspiring writer (aren’t they all?) coming back to the city after her creative sabbatical in London and moving into an apartment building – directly above Ben (Shear), the possible love of her life that she split up with just before she moved away.
Not only that but Ben, as aspiring musician (aren’t they all?) appears to now be involved with Diana’s realtor. It’s all a little bit incestuous as Diana seeks to find her true direction in life.
It’s on one level a very slight tale, but one that is full of nicely realised characters – from Diana’s neurotically self-obsessed bestie Gabby (Irvine) to her bitter-sweet former actress landlady Amy (O’Connell.) The only weak point is the titular boy himself, Ben (Shear), who is both written and played far too insipidly to really make you see what all the fuss is about.
Nevertheless, it’s Mamet’s movie and, especially in its final moments, she more than brings it all home. Overall, a promising debut from Brooks.
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