SIFF Week 2— Sleepwalk with Me

SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) is a yearly film festival that runs for 25 days. This is one of the movies that my husband Mike and I saw on week 2 of the festival.
Synopis: A burgeoning stand-up comedian struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a  stale relationship, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.
Director:Mike Birbiglia, Seth Barrish
Writers: Mike Birbiglia (screenplay), Joe Birbiglia (screenplay), Ira Glass(screenplay), Seth Barrish (screenplay)
 

I admit that am a comedy nerd. Mike (husband) and I saw a sneak preview of this movie when we saw a “This American Life” live event a few weeks ago. TAL helped produced it, and Ira Glass has a cameo. You first see Mike Birbiglia playing Matt Pandamiglio driving and speaking directly to the camera,  “I’m going to tell you a story, and it’s true… I always have to tell people that.”

His girlfriend Abby(Lauren Ambrose, Six Feet Under) decide to move into an apartment together. There is talk of marriage. Soon after the “big talk,” about commitment, he begins to sleepwalk.

Part of the movie is him struggling  to break into comedy, and playing crappy gigs all over the country. There are comedians playing “comedians” in the film. Marc Maron, Eugene Mirman, and Kirsten Schaal and a lot more.  Carol Kane plays his mom. He realizes that there is trouble in paradise with his girlfriend, and soon start talking about his relationship onstage. His comedy gigs get better.

There are some great visual scenes when he is sleepwalking. The image above is him thinking he is winning the Olympics.

This movie is based on a book which got turned into a play. Mike handles the movie with wit and charm. It paid homage to “Annie Hall” (mainly breaking the wall and talking to the audience) and there is a slight Charlie Kaufman vibe  as well during the dream sequences. Recently, he just won an “Who’s Next” audience award at Sundance Film Festival.

I really enjoyed this film. I give it an A. It goes into wide release on August 24th.

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