Review: ‘The Boy Downstairs’ Provides a Twist of Fate for Zosia Mamet

Review: ‘The Boy Downstairs’ Provides a Twist of Fate for Zosia Mamet


Zosia Mamet in “The Boy Downstairs,” written and directed by Sophie Brooks.

Jon Pack/FilmRise

“There are eight million stories in the naked city,” the narrator of that classic crime movie said. But there are, apparently, so few apartments in contemporary Brooklyn that Diana (Zosia Mamet) can unwittingly move into the same building as Ben (Matthew Shear), the former boyfriend she dumped three years earlier before she moved to London.


Trailer: ‘The Boy Downstairs’

A preview of the film.

By FilmRISE on Publish Date February 1, 2018.


In “The Boy Downstairs,” a debut feature from the writer and director Sophie Brooks, not only do Diana and Ben live in the same brownstone, but Ben is also dating Meg, the real estate agent who showed Diana the apartment. Meg (Sarah Ramos) is a former good friend of Diana’s bestie, Gabby (Diana Irvine). And Brooklyn has a fourth resident, Amy (Deirdre O’Connell), a kind landlord who is always there to provide wise counsel to Diana — an aspiring writer, of course.

How, and in whose apartment, Diana and Ben will confess their emotions is the subject of Ms. Brooks’s pallid dramedy, which leaves its actors looking somewhat stranded, as if waiting for Neil Simon zingers that were never written. It doesn’t matter that there’s little suspense to the central romance (Ben and Diana still obviously have feelings for each other); people don’t always resolve their confusion in real time. That’s roughly the speed, however, at which “The Boy Downstairs” seems to play.

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