Sleepwalk with Me – 5 out of 5
|Pictured: Not me telling jokes on stage.|
|Pictured: Also not me telling jokes on stage. Let's not make this review about me|
and how awesome of a person I am. Also I'm humble. A lot more humble than you.
Sleepwalk with Me is based on the true stories of comedian Mike Birbiglia as he struggles to make a name for himself on stage, deal with the troubles of his relationship with his girlfriend and the fact he has a sleeping disorder that causes him to sleepwalk and act out his dreams. Birbiglia originally made this true story into an off-Broadway show that was met with great success and later turned into a book that was also met with critical acclaim. The film fictionalizes Birbiglia’s story as the comedian plays Matt Pandamiglio who breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience as his story plays out before you. We see his struggle with commitment with his girlfriend; Abby (Lauren Ambrose) and the fact he openly denies he has a sleeping disorder—a disorder that eventually led to him jumping out of a 2nd story window while sleeping (and that shit really happened!). I thought the fact that in my dreams when I fell down and my whole body spasms me awake was bad but I never jumped out of a window.
|I know he's breaking the fourth wall but is he talking to us or about to make|
a pass at us?
Sleepwalk with Me is a profoundly insightful, extremely amusing and, most of all, an amazingly heart-touching story. Birbiglia opens himself up and exposes his faults in only a way a comedian would be willingly to do. And the downright artistry of the film and brilliant execution comes not just from the story as Birbiglia opens up his tragedy for us to laugh at and feel for him and his struggle but the film’s overall presentation is nothing short of amazing and looks better than a majority of the crap that is pushed into our local cinemas week after week.
|At least he sleeps in pajama pants...so it could be A LOT worse for someone|
catching him sleepwalking.
The film, on the surface, looks and feels like your run-of-the-mill indie film that should probably star Zach Braff (if Braff was actually a draw anymore) and has an overemphasis on its soundtrack filled with shitty indie hipster rockers that probably populate Braff’s iPod. However, unlike an indie film, Sleepwalk with Me isn’t filled with a pretentious fog populating every second of the film and music isn’t even a consideration in this one. It also helps that the film isn’t about whiney white 30 years olds not ready for the real world and actually comes off as a realistic portrayal of a man with real problems and not insanely specific problems of potential Apple fanboys who read a philosophy book once and now think they know what constitutes an existential crisis (#hipsterproblems). The outer layer of Birbiglia’s film looks like it will be a walking cliché of the indie circuit films but proves to be far more creative than that and far more emotional.
|If this was an indie film, this shot would be accompanied by an acoustic jam|
and a long montage of walking around a park and/or beach looking very forlorn.
|Marc Maron looks like he could learn any talent by just|
looking at the object that is usually associated with said
|There's no denying though that Birbiglia looks like Matt Damon here.|
|Can any of us truly trust him after the Independence Dayfiasco?|
|I couldn't figure out any other way to hyperlink my review of Henry Phillip's|
Punching the Clown.