Sophie Brooks doesn’t try to reinvent the romantic comedy with The Boy Downstairs, she just takes it out for a little spin around Brooklyn, where her gawky would-be artists stumble into love. The writer/director’s first feature is warmly affectionate and maddeningly vague.
The Orwellian image of totalitarianism is bleak and urban, with thought police lurking around every corner. Sunny rural Cuba seems a world away, but in Carlos Lechuga’s delicate drama, ideological rigor has seeped into everyday life.
Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin last starred together twenty years ago. When they were bankable movie stars, both actors added subversive elements to their conventional roles, Moore revealing the steel spine of underestimated women, Baldwin injecting hissing menace into stalwart men.
What do you do with a loathsome hero? Noah Pritzker isn’t sure. His aimless first feature (co-written with Ben Tarnoff) is built around slippery teenage manipulator Clark Rayman (Ben Konigsberg), who goes from a little Machiavellian to big-time creepy with no rhyme or reason.