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Sleepwalk With Me [DVD]


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Product details

  • Directors: Seth Barrish, Mike Birbiglia
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Moviolla
  • DVD Release Date: 14 July 2014
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00EF1I8BS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,902 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Sleepwalk with Me tells the story of comedian-turned-playwright-turned-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia in his autobiographically inspired, fictional feature debut. Birbiglia wears his incisive wit on hissleeve while portraying a cinematic surrogate. We are thrust into the tale of a burgeoning stand-up comedian struggling with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship threatening to race out of his control, and the wild spurts of severe sleep- walking he is desperate to ignore. Based on the successful one-man show, Sleepwalk With Me engages in the kind of passionate and personal storytelling that transfigures intimate anguish into comic art.

Review

A dream for fans of offbeat, well-written, subtly acted projects. --Claudia Puig, USA Today

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
A semi-autobiographical tale from Birbiglia, this film follows him as Matt Pandamiglio; a man in crisis. He is in his 30s and in a long-term relationship that shows no real sense of direction. Thanks to him. He is also struggling in his ambition to be a stand-up comic. His girlfriend, Abby (Lauren Ambrose) is beginning to request greater commitment from him, just as many of their friends around them have not only tied the knot but are now surrounded by the patter of tiny feet. On top of this nasty cocktail for Matt lies a further woe in the form of a terrible medical condition that compels him to dangerously sleepwalk and enact out the most farfetched of dreams.

Opening with an address to camera, Birbiglia's character asks the audience to turn off their phones. So begins an endearing and frequent breaking of the Fourth Wall, in a similar fashion to that of John Cusack in High Fidelity and Larry David in Woody Allen's Whatever Works (Allen, of course, has done this in a number of his features). The tone is also similar. The characters are drawn with enough pathos and likeability to ascribe both empathy and affection. The observations are touchingly honest and familiar, echoing cliché but subverting the tropes of the genre at the same time.

Those expecting a rip-roaring laugh out loud comedy may end up disappointed. Sleepwalk With Me has humour but its real success lies in the merging of tragedy and hope within all of its characters and in steering matters with a refreshingly unpredictable navigation. It was a pleasant surprise.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 108 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent film full of bittersweet comedy 26 Sep 2012
By RMurray847 - Published on Amazon.com
I've seen Mike Birbiglia in a few stand up broadcasts, but really knew nothing about him, except that I liked his laconic, stutter-step approach to delivering his material. He seemed like a funny guy who also happened to be sorta nice too. I knew nothing about his book, Ira Glass appearances or one-man off-Broadway show. That's probably a good thing, because I was able to enjoy SLEEPWALK WITH ME pretty much on its own terms.

Apparently this movie is quite autobiographical, even though Mike has changed his character's name to Matt. But Mike/Matt frequently talks directly to the camera, and we're assured the story is true...so it's almost impossible not to assume that we're basically seeing a (perhaps exaggerated) take on Birbiglia's life. But it doesn't really matter either...the story is compelling and says some interesting things about relationships and about how a stand-up comic builds their career literally from the ground up.

Matt is in an 8-year relationship with Abby (Lauren Ambrose, who is wonderful). Abby is a great girl, and everyone (both viewer and the characters on screen) have to wonder why Matt is having a hard time settling down and committing to a marriage with her. But as Matt says, he's unhappy that everyone says the best thing about him is his girlfriend. It's true. He's a bartender who wants to do stand-up. Or at least, he thinks he does...he gets almost no opportunities to try. His life and his relationship is on hold. Abby is faithful and patient, but also growing frustrated. Surely she is wondering what more she can give of herself to this man who trembles at the thought of marrying her.

One day, with Abby's help, Matt actually gets an agent. And the agent begins to give Matt tiny gigs. Gigs that barely cover the cost of gas and food to get there. But Matt wades in, ready to try out his meager material. He's actually a pretty terrible comedian, but he's willing to do just about any lousy gig he can get. He is excited at his new life on the road (there's a great scene when he checks into his first flea-bag motel and is clearly THRILLED).

Abby remains in NYC, but is supportive. Matt continues to limp along until he gets the advice of a more successful peer to use his personal conflicts as fodder for his material. Suddenly, his material connects with the audience, and his success grows. He loves life on the road. And thus, his distance from Abby grows.

Meanwhile, he also suffers from severe sleepwalking, where he gets out of bed and runs from the creatures that are chasing him in his dreams. His dreams of running seem to coincide with this waking fear of commitment. Of a "normal" life chasing him down.

Matt frequently behaves poorly, but Birbiglia is so specific in showing us details of his life, that we tend to sympathize with him, even as we wish he would pull himself together. At one point, before showing us some really poor behavior, Matt turns to the camera and says "before I show you this next part...remember, you're on my side." And he's right, we are.

We're also on Abby's side and that's what gives this movie such a rich, bittersweet quality. We yearn for them to find happiness...yet we see how elusive that is going to be. Birbiglia directs the film, and he shows an adept touch for little details and telling dialogue. I'm not ready to say he's a great director, because so far, he's only used his own life as material...but I'd be prepared to see more of his work.

SLEEPWALK WITH ME is very funny at times. It's very raw at times. It can frequently be surprising (the details of his sleep disorder are fascinating). It's a very adult film (the language is relatively mild though). It is VERY well acted (including great support from James Rebhorn and Carol Kane as Matt's parents). The dialogue is sharp, and few words are wasted. Almost every line is significant.

It's not a perfect film. Sometimes the pace drags...it felt longer than its 90 minutes. It occasionally struggles to reconcile its varying tones. I like movies that shift tone, but I like to feel the director MEANT for the tone to shift...sometimes I think it does despite Birbiglia's efforts. But these are fairly minor complaints and I'd give the film 4.5 stars.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Bitter-sweet and funny at the same time 7 Sep 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
"Sleepwalk With Me" (2012 US release; 90 min.) brings the story of Matt (played by Mike Birbiglia) as he struggles with a sleep disorder and tries to salvage his long-time relationship with Abby (played by Lauren Ambrose). Abby wants to get married, badly. Matt, not so much. Abby is looking for any sign from Matt that he will propose, which he eventually does, after an emotional side trip that makes him feel guilty and ashamed. Parallel to all of this, we see Matt getting his start on the stand-up comedy circuit, and barely hnaging on. Then, one day, he makes a funny quip about his failing relationship with Abby, and wouldn't you know, the audience eats it up! I don't want to give more away, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first and foremost, even though he plays a character called "Matt", this story is based on Mike Birbiglia's own life experiences (in fact, before this became a movie, this was an unexpected off-Broadway hit play). Birbiglia not only stars but also co-wrote and co-directed the movie. Second, the movie makes the most of the shoestring budget on which this obviously was made, and I was pleasantly surprised how well it all flowed. Last but not least, the overall tione of the movie is very much bitter-sweet (to me at least). When I saw this in the theatre a few days ago (at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC), there were a number of people who were laughing out loud in many parts of the movie. I never felt quite that way. Yes, there are funny moments in it, but when all is said and done, this movie documents a failing relationship and a serious disorder, so how truly laugh-out-loud funny is that?

Besides Bribiglia, who obviously carries the movie (and quite well at that), the support cast is nothing short of terrific, including the already mentioned Lauren Ambrose as his girlfriend, but equally if not even more so James Reborn and Carol Kane as his parents. They make the most of the limited screen time they have. This movie is MILES away from your standard Hollywood fare, but if you are in the mood for something quirky and slightly left of center, "Sleepwalk WIth Me" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"There's a jackal!" 1 Dec 2014
By Armando N. Roman - Published on Amazon.com
It’s not often that I get to see a comedy movie that not only makes me laugh, but really connects with me on another level. I think it was comedian Duncan Trussell who first mentioned this movie on a podcast a while back, and I always meant to watch it, but never did until today. This is one of those films that I can recommend to anyone because it feels so real in a lot of ways, and is sure to be relatable to most people in at least one way. Do yourself a favor and go into this one without seeing any clips first, because while it is a comedy for the most part, it deals with the very real problem of telling the truth in a relationship, whether it’s for the best or not.

Matt Pandamiglio is a comedian…well, he wants to be a comedian. He doesn’t have very many jokes, and what he does have earns him so much silence that you could hear a pin drop. Very obvious things like pointing out Cookie Monster may have an eating disorder don’t exactly get a reaction these days. He works as a bartender at a place that has comedy some nights, and he admires the comedians who go up and get reactions from the crowd. Matt also has a bad sleepwalking problem that slowly escalates over time as his other problems in life grow more troublesome. To be honest, the best thing he has going for him is his girlfriend Abby. She’s got personality, has a good job, is gorgeous, and gets along with his family. The thing is, despite being with her for so many years, Matt hasn’t even thought about marriage, and when she brings it up, he gets nervous and doesn’t know how to put his feelings into words in a good way. Things start to look up when Matt starts to perform at small shows at colleges and other places out of town, and at the same time, this makes the relationship more unsteady.

The title is a little misleading, since Matt only sleepwalks a small number of times through the film, but it’s a very important part of the story. His father, Frank, is a doctor and wants him to get everything checked out, even giving him a book on sleep problems. When it’s revealed what exactly might cause Matt’s specific form of sleepwalking, things click in place. The guy’s in his 30s, isn’t doing what he likes for a living, and has this wonderful girlfriend who, all things considered, he should marry. Just the thought of having a baby with Abby throws him off. Why? The answer is surprisingly obvious, and something not a lot of people will admit themselves.

For me, the laughs were a little on the light side. Most of the time, I was laughing at how Matt’s jokes were bombing, and other times, I was laughing at how absurd the situations he was getting in were. That’s not saying that they’re bad, because if you look up sleepwalking stories, crazier things happen. This just isn’t the kind of thing you see in movies very often I guess. There are appearances from other comedians like Marc Maron, and I don’t feel like they were used enough. I didn’t want them to get tons of time and take the movie off course, and yet Maron only gets a couple of lines, as do a few others. It’s not a big deal though.

If you have an hour and a half, Sleepwalk With Me would be a great way to spend it. It’s cute enough to be a movie for couples to watch, and it’s still serious enough to be a light drama. This is one I wouldn’t mind watching again a couple of times.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not so funny 14 Jan 2013
By Boje - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
After hearing rave reviews of the movie and a radio interview with Mike Birbiglia, I was prepared for lots of laughs as he shared his experiences with sleepwalking. There were some funny moments, but for the most part, the movie was pretty dry. I gave it three stars for his unvarnished honesty in telling his story and sharing the frustrating and dangerous world of the sleepwalker.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just More Info About Mike Birbiglia 24 Jun 2014
By G. Charles Steiner - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with the one Amazon reviewer who found this movie sad and not funny. I also agree with him that I feel I have to apologize to Mike Birbiglia for not really liking this film, because I really like Mike Birbiglia's comedy, although I did learn a lot more about Mike Birbiglia and his relationship to his girlfriend.

I also know something about sleepwalking and sleep disturbances, having my own small share of problems in this arena. It is very good to turn off all entertainment a couple of hours before sleep, to disconnect from the electronic world and prepare for a good night's sleep.

I give this movie three stars just because it's about Mike Birbiglio who has such a gift for telling stories about his life, but there was nothing to laugh about in this film. The actress who plays Mike's girlfriend was terrific. If she was anything like the real girlfriend, I can understand why breaking up was hard to do.

The actors who play Mike's parents in this film didn't look or sound particularly Italian. I was disappointed that Mike's Italian background wasn't explored at all in this autobiographical work.
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