By Christina Nicole
The 2018 AJFF showcased a new rom-com written and directed by Sophie Brooks, and starring Girls alum Zosia Mamet, The Boy Downstairs.
Mamet plays Diana, and aspiring author who upon returning to the states after a stint in London, and unbeknownst to her, moves into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment building in NYC. It’s a bit “Of all the gin-joints, in all the world,” she moves into his building. The awkward politeness and semi-stalking that follows is good for a laugh.
The Diana-Ben relationship retrospective that is The Boy Downstairs does not fall flat or disappoint. At times the film, which is told through intermingling flashbacks and present day, is more than a little cliché, but that is a part if its charm.
The Boy Downstairs is pleasant in its predictability. It isn’t pretentious and it never tries to be more than it is. It’s a cute movie, without any real surprises. Mamet does a delightful job playing the cute girl-next-door who, isn’t the trite quirky girl we’ve seen in recent years. In the movie, she’s not the secondary Shoshanna Shapiro anymore, and shows she can carry a film as a leading lady.
I give the film 4 of 5 stars. This is a great first film for writer-director Sophie Brooks, and I believe we will see more wonderful work from her in the future. The Boy Downstairs opens to limited release in theaters on February 16, 2018. #FemaleDirector