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Sleepwalk With Me [Blu-ray]
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Winner of a 2012 Audience Award at Sundance, comedian Mike Birbiglia directed and stars in this sincere and hilarious film, based on his off-Broadway show and bestselling book. It's also the first movie from Ira Glass and co-produced by "This American Life." The story: when an aspiring stand-up fails to express his true feelings about his girlfriend and his stalled career, his anxiety comes out in increasingly funny and dangerous sleepwalking incidents. SLEEPWALK WITH ME features Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), Carol Kane (Taxi), James Rebhorn (Meet the Parents), Cristin Milioti (star of Broadway's "Once"), plus comedians Marc Maron, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Jessi Klein, Henry Phillips and David Wain.
Bonus Materia- -Making Of-
-Q&A with Ira Glass & Mike Birbiglia moderated by Joss Whedon at the Writers Guild Foundation-
-Behind the Scenes- -Shorts-
-Commentary with Mike Birbiglia & Ira Glass
Top customer reviews
First of all, the protagonist in the movie is named Matt Pandemiglio, which is awkward, because the film is clearly autobiographical. Was Mike Birbiglia just not willing to own his story on the big screen? Why the face, Mike? It does not get any less awkward when "Matt" narrates in first-person between scenes. The whole thing was awkward, largely because the title gave me the wrong expectations. When I casually streamed "Sleepwalk with Me" to my living room, I was half expecting a sleepwalk documentary and half expecting something funny. The movie met neither expectation, though it does contain elements of both sleepwalking and comedy. Overall, I would have been less disappointed if the title had been better at cluing me in as to what I was about to see. Perhaps, "Mike Birbiglia's Grotesquely Unreasonable Courtship of Abby and How It Turned Him into a Great Standup Comedian," or "This Is Not So Much a Funny Movie about Sleepwalking As It Is a Sad Movie about Mike Birbiglia, Who Is Someone Who Is Funny and also Sleepwalks."
Every review I read on Amazon has totally nailed this movie. Great for Birbiglia fans, but not great for documentary or stand up comedy fans. You are not going to learn much about sleepwalking from this film, except that one should avoid excessive stimulation and overeating before going to bed. And there is not a whole lot of laugh-out-loud comedy. The comedy is all dark. Do not get me wrong: Birbiglia has a lot of heart for sharing the story of Abby and how he became successful. I liked it because I am such a huge Mike Birbigliography fan, but that is all it is about.
I laughed out loud at this movie, but only in parts. If you come to this movie expecting The Hangover or Anchorman, then you are going to be disappointed. It's not that type of comedy. It's a heart-breakingly familiar story line told via excellent writing and solid performances from the entire cast. As soon as I heard that Ira Glass was writing this alongside Mr. Birbiglia, I felt confident that the end product would be worth watching. I was not disappointed.
I definitely recommend this film.
I own a copy of the CD and of the book that share the story with this film. And I find it compelling, interesting, and fun to watch. Anything with Lauren Ambrose is fun, and she shines as a normal, frustrated girlfriend opposite the awkward Mike Birbiglia.
This film focuses a bit more on the growth of Mike Birbiglia as a comedian (er, sorry, Matt Pandamiglio) compared to the book and standup specials (part of the necessity of the story is understanding the narrator's voice), but the cameos by other comedians you'd probably remember from somewhere (though possibly find it hard to know exactly where) should make you smile.
Overall, I love this film.
I would've hoped that TAL would have picked one of the thousands of great stories that they have not yet told to turn into their first motion picture instead of this one, we did like the format and would hope that if a future TAL movie is made, it will follow the same mix of narration and storytelling.