Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sleepwalk with Me: Birbiglia's Solopsism

Movie Review: Sleepwalk with Me

Director: Mike Birbiglia and Seth Barrish

Reviewed: 3 March 2013

jamesintexas rating--**1/2

Mike Birbiglia plays a version of himself named Matt Pandamiglio in this comedy, and I think part of my problem with it is its sketchiness.  As a stand-up comedian suffering from sleepwalking, Birbiglia is fine as he narrates the film, starring in every scene.  Birbiglia surrounds himself with a strong cast and then allows them to do next to nothing.  Carol Kane, Lauren Ambrose, and James Rebhorn are wasted here.  He doesn't allow Ambrose as his girlfriend Abby to play a real character.  His relationships with others are difficult to navigate.  Therefore, he shortcuts his film of any real emotion when there are conflicts.

I liked the portrayal of stand-up comedy and life on the road, especially with turns from Wyatt Cenac and Marc Maron.  I like some of Birbiglia's comedy, but in general, he does not make me laugh.  That is difficult for me in a comedy.  He films some interesting dream sequences as his sleepwalking becomes more and more out of control.  I think I wanted to see more of the ending of the movie, instead of the process leading up to the end.  There is tremendous drama in his struggle to overcome this.  I just do not think the movie fully works.

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