2012 / Director. Mike Birbiglia.
Sleepwalk With Me took me by surprise. I really wasn't expecting what I got... but I'm totally satisfied by it. Written, directed and performed by comedian Mike Birbiglia the film is an autobiographical story of a fundamental time in his life, which is based on his own stage-show and novel. Struggling as a comedian he is also dealing with commitment issues in his relationship and a dangerous sleep disorder. His girlfriend is sweet, gorgeous and in love with him but he's not prepared for the long haul. Wanting time apart he seizes an opportunity to travel interstate to play some low-key stand up gigs. His material is terrible until he includes stories about his relationship out of panic. The crowd reacts and suddenly his private life (and girlfriend) is the butt of his material. The narrative is odd with Birbiglia telling the story face-to-camera while he drives between his gigs and the rest of the film is superbly acted by himself, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane and James Rebhorn. Birbiglia's presence on screen is wonderful and natural and his story comes across so sincerely that you can't help but offer him your emotions. At times hilarious and often heartbreaking, it's a turbulent and honest comedy well worth your time and money. Most impressively the film doesn't pander to stereotypes, cliches or conventions. It is original and unique... and surprising.