Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

Why “The Boy Downstairs” Is A Romance Worth Watching

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oregon chapter.

I was recently browsing through Kanopy, a streaming service that has hundreds of artistic and unique movies, and discovered The Boy Downstairs. Though I have never seen this movie advertised, I read the description and thought it sounded like a typical romance. After watching this film, it is BY FAR one of my favorite new movies because it doesn’t fit the stereotype that most romances follow. It is incredibly realistic for how relationships grow, then break apart, and suddenly we have to put ourselves back together again and be okay on our own. Writer and director Sophie Brooks creates a masterpiece with The Boy Downstairs because it displays such authenticity. It doesn’t cover up the sensitive aspects of a relationship, but rather it uses these real moments to show how to move on and grow from past experiences. 

The film is about a girl named Diana (Zosia Mamet) who moves right above her old ex-boyfriends apartment in downtown NYC. She has been living in London for a few years to kick start her writing career and to discover herself, but has recently moved back to the city. Once she discovers she’s living above her ex-boyfriend, she is shocked, confused and extremely uncomfortable (but wouldn’t most of us feel this way?). After hearing about Diana being his neighbor, her ex-boyfriend Ben (Matthew Shear) isn’t too happy about it either, but can’t seem to ask her to move. Through daily encounters and awkward conversations, the two try to be friends and realize that it may be hard due to their drawn out past. Not only do they have tension, but Ben’s new girlfriend tries to drive a wedge between them so they have an even harder time becoming friends. The two exes try to find stable ground but become frustrated when feelings resurface from their past love. As the story goes on, they try to navigate this complicated relationship, and both characters are unsure what they really want in their love life.


This story is told in different time sectors, transitioning from past to present, where it shows how Diana and Ben first met and how they became exes, then it flashes forward to present day where they are neighbors trying to be friendly towards one another. The past vs present switch really makes you feel as if you understand this couple’s history in order to sympathize with them during times of sadness. 

What I really enjoy about this film is how realistic it is and how you can easily make a connection with Diana and Ben because you can relate to their feelings of frustration, heartbreak and new love. This romantic drama is not what you would expect; it does not just focus on the relationship itself but also the realization of finding yourself and being okay when you are on your own. It makes the viewer realize how to enjoy life in all of its precious moments, not just the ones when you are with someone else. It also highlights how love is never supposed to be perfect all the time and that you need to embrace your feelings, even if you are scared to.

I would definitely re-watch this film because of how realistic it is and how it represents the rock side of relationships that we all know. Go watch The Boy Downstairs if you are wanting a romance that is not so traditional. Below is the trailer for The Boy Downstairs: 


Hi! I'm Hailey. I am a senior at the Unviersity of Oregon studying Advertising. I am a workout nut and a Certified Personal Trainer at our campus REC center. In my free time you can find me outside, either hiking, biking or exercising. I am also completley obsessed with the fashion industry and will hopefully be going into Fashion Merchandising and Marketing in the near future. 
The official Her Campus Oregon account