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Sleepwalk with Me
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Reviews & Ratings for
Sleepwalk with Me More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Sleepwalking has never had a better ending.

9/10
Author: John Kelmer from Tampa, FL
6 April 2012

My wife and I saw this film at this year's SXSW festival, as it was our top priority to watch as we have loved Mike Birbiglia for a long time now- and so excited that many more people are getting to know him (or at least getting closer to pronounce his last name correctly). The entire narrative of the film is based on several of his true stories pulled from his memoir and a one-man show of the same name. I would recommend anyone seeing this movie to read his book afterwards, as it has many verbatim moments and great stories from his childhood that were not in the movie. In regards to this the movie itself, we found it simply terrific. Full disclosure- I am a huge comedy nerd; so that bias most likely does have to be factored in before taking my opinion, yet I believe this story is compelling and entertaining for absolutely any adult.

The film starts with Mike in his late 20's in a relationship with his girlfriend (Abby) since college. The issue of why they are not married at this point is immediately brought up, and it becomes the central issue for him to come to terms with. Before you immediately typecast this plot as a typical "white people problem" indie, the terrifying events that unfold due to this dilemma both in real-life and subconsciously will keep you completely engaged in what will happen next. The film does flashback a few times when he and Abby meet, but most of the storyline is within about the ages of 28-33 and when the real decision making that goes into becoming an actual adult becomes an ultimatum. While being barraged with questions of "Why are you still a bartender", "Why aren't you married yet", Mike timidly avoids trying to have a real answer and only wants to stay in his own world. However, because of not addressing these on the surface, he is forced to deal with them in his dreams. This begins with Mike waking up Abby by kicking a hamper declaring "There is a jackal in here!". This would soon to prove to be the most abstract and least disturbing sleepwalking instance that he would experience. As he becomes further entrenched into a new, unstable career and uncertainty with his Abby, his episodes become clearer and force him to finally make a real choice in his relationship, stand-up, and this debilitating sleep problem.

Birbiglia had included his brother and "This American Life" host Ira Glass to help with the adaptation of his life up to this point. I think they really understood what was relatable for anyone in relationships, and scared about what to do next. Almost every scene was tightly edited to show this, and the performances were deeply funny and heartbreaking. Since there was very little money to put into this project, he relied on many of his friends and friends of friends to call in favors to come in. This included many admired comedians like Marc Maron, Kristin Shall, David Wain, Hannibal Burees and Wyatt Cenac who all do a great job in representing the struggles of the stand-up process and the bleakness of working on the road.

The few problems I had with the movie revolve around the length of it. It may have been about 75 minutes. In no way are you wasting any money to see it, but being such a huge fan of his memoirs, I felt there could have been more time to bring up a couple more events that make the start of his comedy career more compelling. Many of which revolve around his parents who are featured only a brief time, but it is understandable that there is only so much you can do to illustrate an auto-biography.

Overall, I feel that this is one of the most honest and self-aware films you will see. Even if you have read the book and seen the show, there are still so many wonderful idiosyncrasies that Mike Birbiglia wanted to explore before finally put his past behind him- and focus on his rising career. At the screening he did a Q&A with us, and one of his answers made me appreciate it 10 times more. That was, when you see the film and he gives the epilogue, that entire scene (as well as all of the forth-wall) was done in post-production. It is almost unfathomable to think that this conclusion was not thought of at the beginning of writing the movie because it really was the thesis of the entire story, and it was truly one of the best endings I have ever seen. Even for that reason alone, I would implore anyone to see this movie.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

For Comedians, By a Comedian (SPOILER)

2/10
Author: Dan Murphy (uwdan) from Seattle, WA, USA
1 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh the trials and tribulations of an up-and-coming comedian. I listen to This American Life and find Birbiglia somewhat boring already, but this story goes too far. Only in America do we celebrate an out of shape and cowardly white guy because he's trying to hone his craft on stage. His beautiful, successful, and goal-driven girlfriend is left in his wake, and his well-meaning parents are treated like jerks.

This movie was bad. Do yourself a favor and avoid it. I am really surprised that WBEZ/Ira Glass/This American Life greenlighted this project because it's so narrow-minded and boring.

One highlight, though; I don't want to be a total negative nancy: the long follow shot of "Matt" as he checks into La Quinta is quite clever.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It is a movie about a comedian but it is in no way funny!

3/10
Author: Bo Kotian Lund from Denmark
14 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, I get that Mike Birbiglia is telling his own story and in that way the story is based on real events - at least seen from the eyes of Mike Birbiglia. But even real stories need some artistic alteration or a good storyline to make it to the big screen. This has not really happen here! Mike Birbiglia who is a good comedian makes a comedy movie, is has to be good! Just that, this is not a comedy - its a movie about a comedian but it is in no way funny. So what is it then? Some kind of sad, no happy ending romance? Maybe even drama? At best you might call it a road movie, as half the movie Mike Birbiglia is driving around in a Volvo.

When I was watching this movie and figured it was not a comedy, I so hoped to find that the whole concept was to interlink the way the movie is made to the theme of sleepwalking - that the whole slow narrator mode and his misery life had anything to do with sleep, sadly it never happened (except you get sleepy watching it). After a good hour of watching I began to believe that the movie was not really about sleepwalking, but maybe a romance/drama thing - maybe he would kill his mother in his sleepwalking stage or his girlfriend would start sleepwalking with him? Until the last second I still hoped something would happen, some kind of "ah ha" - just a link from the story telling to the story, but no - you do get a morale though which sadly just seem to be a reflection on his own past and not really what the movie was about. The end seems to reveal that the whole point of the movie was to tell the world of this disorder, which it does very bad.

Sleepwalk with me is at the level of a 6th grader told to write his own biography - so except you are a huge Mike Birbiglia fan and want to be told that he used to be a horrible boyfriend and that he has a sleeping disorder, do not push play!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Mike Birbiglia's life

7/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
26 August 2013

Mike Birbiglia's semi-autobiographical one-man show is turned into a movie. He is loser struggling comedian who's actually more of a bartender at a comedy club. Lauren Ambrose is Abby, his girlfriend who's too good for him. Abby starts to pressure him to marry her, and he starts walking in his sleep under the stress.

It has the air of real life. However I just couldn't shake the question that probably everybody asked while watching this movie. "Why did she stay with this loser?"

Mike probably played up his loserness too much at the beginning. His acting at the start had no energy at all. It just made it hard to understand why Abby would ever stay with him. There is an imaginative explanation based on real life. But it still isn't quite satisfying.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Bafflingly awful

3/10
Author: jesuitbandit from Vancouver, Canada
12 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was so shocked by this film because it seemed to come with great reviews and a lot of people singing it's praises. Maybe I don't get Mike Birbiglia's comedy, maybe it doesn't translate on film. Whatever the reasons this is what I thought:

Poor comedian treats his long term girlfriend with total disrespect or honesty and becomes famous, but remains a terrible comedian. The only joke in this film is on the audience for sticking it out.

Indie standards are employed to keep you watching even though it becomes clear after a while that this film is going no where.

The only redeeming character in it is the father, who can be pretty funny at times with his insistent over-fathering.

The character I was most frustrated by was Abby. She goes from being a clearly intelligent, intriguing and honest character to one with little depth or courage. A real shame.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

"Who dis?" (Can't be Burbiglia.... because he's funny.)

4/10
Author: pazu7 from North Hollywood, Ca
11 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've always liked Mike Birbiglia's stand up so I figured this would be hilarious. But it's not. Sorry, Mike. This story works as a routine but transferred poorly to screenplay. Just finished watching so I haven't had a chance to analyze what went wrong, (not that my analysis would matter or even be very good) but outside of a few scenes, which featured his stand up, and a few lines of narration, it was rather boring. Sort of the way that Richard Lewis-type manic self-obsession gets tedious pretty quick. Marc Maron was almost amusing for a second. The opening narration was the best part. The rest is funnier in concept than execution. Anyway, still love Berbiglia... doing stand up, that is.

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16 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Funny and Honest

8/10
Author: karmaion from United States
17 September 2012

While I admit I'm a huge stand-up comedy fan, you don't have to be to fall in love with Mike Birbigla or his "factionalized" character, Matt. A funny, honest, sad (but never too sad) autobiographically inspired road trip through Matt's 20's that features some wonderful performances by Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane and James Rebhorn. I spent the 90 minutes alternating between laughter and wishing I could reach through the screen and slip a Xanax into Matt's beer. I dragged along my 14 year old daughter, who smiles or speaks rarely in my presence these days, and she not only loved it but enthusiastically discussed it with me for an hour afterwords. I only wish it were longer. I could have easily spent the entire afternoon riding shotgun with Matt.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not even remotely funny.

2/10
Author: mooftcake from Canada
27 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not sure what I was expecting here - some kind of quirky indie comedy? I mean, you'd think a film about a stand-up comedian would be funny, right? Sadly, it is not. Not at all.

The film is basically the story of a guy who has an amazing, beautiful, supportive girlfriend, but he's not satisfied with that, so he spends the next hour or so of the film treating her like crap, ditching her to go on some pointless comedy tour, cheating on her, then telling her he wants to marry her but not really meaning it so makes her do all the planning while he flakes off on yet another dumb tour, then comes home and dumps her. The end. With a one line aside of how she went on to get married and have kids with someone else anyway so like, that makes it all okay now and we should just forget about the last hour we spent watching him be a complete jerk.

Seriously, the protagonist of this film has NO redeeming qualities at all. The film manages to be watchable for the first half or so, but then this guy just becomes more and more awful to the point where you have no sympathy whatsoever for him and don't really care what happens to him.

I am really disappointed I wasted 80 minutes on this. (It feels about 3 hours long.)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

If you just want jokes, don't bother, otherwise enjoy!

9/10
Author: theconjourer from United States
22 March 2013

I saw this movie because I heard about it from Joss Whedon's "boycott." Before I sat down to watch it I glanced at the IMDb rate of 6.7, so I figured take it in on my day off while at home on netflix with nothing else to do. It turned out I loved it. The film follows Matt as he attempts to break into stand up comedy and juggle a relationship with his girlfriend of 8 years, as well as cope with some extreme bouts of sleepwalking. Now this is listed as a comedy, but it's not like comedies that other comedians put out, like Will Ferrell, and I wonder if that's part of the reason for the low ranking. Really the story is a serious one but told in a lighthearted but honest way.

If there were some downsides they would be first that, visually it's nothing special, it looks good but not great. Second, is not so much a downside for me as it would be for what I assume it was for some of the people who gave it negative reviews, (indeed I did see people cite this very reason in their reviews) and that is the ending. The film follows the typical film plot structure up to a point and then it strays from what most people would see as typical. I won't spoil anything but I will say this, I was surprised but then again it makes you think. And that is where it really knocked it out of the park for me. I was a little miffed at first but, the film then leaves you with a thought, which made me re-think the movie and it all came together.

I don't think the average movie goer wants to have a revelation at the end of a movie unless that revelation was "It was all a dream(or was it?)" or "He was dead the whole time."

All in all, the movie is an honest, lighthearted look at an event from Mike Birbiglia's life. A movie that will make you laugh at least a little bit, and you might even take something away from it. If you JUST want to laugh, well go watch the latest Will Ferrell movie.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Sleepwalk With Me is strange with too much story

3/10
Author: dalydj-918-255175 from Ireland
27 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The film is strange especially when dealing with the main relationship between a sleepwalking comedian and a women who just wants marriage, not much story there for a film in my mind"

The plot to this film is strange to describe even though it seems like a very normal plot. Matt Pandamiglio (Mike Birbiglia) is a normal guy who has been in a relationship with Abby (Lauren Ambrose) for eight years and even when his sister gets married he still does not want to get married. At the same time Matt is starting to suffer from sleepwalking and chooses to ignore this problem while he tries to reach his dream goal by being a comedian working on the road.

The film is very small with a storyline that is not overly interesting. The film is very short and most of the characters are underdeveloped as they do not have a beginning or an end just being included in the story as a conflict for the two main characters. Some of the writing is poor in my mind because the film for being short moves very slow and from beginning to end we do not get much of an interesting story worth watching. The whole sleep walking part of the film was laughable because it made no sense and did not need to be included because the film could have easily been an expected movie where the man does not want to get married and I still would have been negative but the sleep walking part of the film makes it worse for me.

Mike Birbiglia plays the main character of Matt is very boring and poorly written throughout. Mike adds nothing to the character and after some time just becomes a talking head playing a stupid character that makes no sense about anything he does. He plays the sleep walking scenes not well which brings down the film even more. Lauren Ambrose plays his girlfriend Abby and even though Mike is given the opportunity to perform Ambrose is given almost nothing even though she tries to make this character a good one. She is off screen for some time and even when she is on the screen she is mostly forgotten about as the story tries to focus on the horrible character of Matt as she struggles to stay with him. The supporting cast is given almost nothing to do but Carol Kane and James Redhorn are worth mentioning as Matt's parents.

The film is boring and almost laughable how slow the pace is for a film this short. Nothing worth talking about in performances and with stupid sleep walking being a main plot point the film is not worth any money paid to watch it.

MOVIE GRADE: E- (MVP: Mike Birbiglia)

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