A struggling comedian suffers from sleepwalking but fails to incorporate that personal fact into his routine until halfway through the movie in Sleepwalk with Me, a surprisingly entertaining film that defies expectations and establishes itself as one of the most overlooked movies of 2012.
Mike Birbiglia writes, directs and stars in the movie where he plays Matt, a guy who sees everyone as more successful than he is (probably because they are) and has been dating his girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) for way too many years without proposing. He gradually figures out how to tap into a comedic goldmine - i.e. his relationship and personal flaws, the same goldmine for every comedian.
Sleepwalk with Me looks and feels like an indie comedy-drama, and it is, but it isn't more of the same old formula that filmmakers think audiences want to see (for example, Not Fade Away). The movie tackles serious subjects while never taking itself too seriously, and approaches the relationship between Matt and Abby realistically. More importantly, Birbiglia's screenplay is simultaneously witty and grounded.
I love the progression Matt makes throughout the film, evolving from a loser with zero confidence to a man who finds his stride and realizes what he really wants in life. His character arc is, of course, core to the film, and Birbiglia couldn't have written it any better.
Sleepwalk with Me is a fun, entertaining movie that, understandably, rests largely on the shoulders of Mike Birbiglia. This was a movie that was destined to a limited theatrical release and little marketing for no other reason than it's lack of star power. Nonetheless, Sleepwalk with Me is a refreshing picture that is well worth renting, if not purchasing.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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