Sleepwalk With Me
The semi-autobiographical tale of stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia (his character’s named Matt Pandamiglio), Sleepwalk With Me tells the tale of his stagnant relationship with his girlfriend, the beginnings of his stand-up career, and his life threatening experiences with severe sleepwalking. After his sister gets engaged to her boyfriend of two years, Matt begins to feel pressure from his girlfriend of eight years to get married. Matt fancies himself a stand-up comedian, but really just works in a bar, and occasionally fills in for a few minutes, or introduces the comedians there. Stress at home and at work seems to initiate Matt’s sleepwalking, but that same stress also kicks off his career as a stand-up comedian. Hiding from responsibility, hiding from his relationship, he hits the road, at first fumbling, but soon finding success as his day to day life and worries become his act.
The comedy in the movie is very funny, and benefited from an excellent supporting cast. Matt’s situations (aside from the sleepwalking) are very relatable, and Birbiglia is good as the lead. His own progression from nervous comic to confident comic grows naturally with the evolution and destruction of his relationship. Lauren Ambrose was excellent as Abby, his girlfriend (this is actually the second movie in the last few months I’ve seen her in where she has been a neglected girlfriend, as she played a similar role in Grassroots). Carol Kane and James Rebhorn were both splendid additions to the cast as Matt’s parents.
I liked the film, but might have liked it more if it wasn’t so obviously autobigraphical. The bonus features on the DVD were interesting, as they had the usual outtakes, and behind the scenes interviews, but also had a Q&A session after a screening hosted by Joss Whedon, who appears to be a friend of both star Mike Birbiglia and his producer Ira Glass. I was curious about this, and it started out okay, until the interviewees started interviewing the interviewer. On a piece for your own movie, I think it’s wrong to be asking the other guy about his Avengers film; and I also think it was poor of the interviewer to allow things to continue in that fashion.
Posted on 13-03-04, in 3 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged 3 star, independent film, Lauren Ambrose, Mike Birbiglia, movie, review, sleepwalking, stand-up comedy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.