Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
August 30, 2012
*** (out of four)
Faced with the choice between eating dinner and calling a doctor about his progressively dangerous sleepwalking condition, Mike Birbiglia gave priority to his stomach.
That’s the behavior of a man who doesn’t prioritize his problems, and in “Sleepwalk With Me”—starring, directed and co-written by Birbiglia, adapted from his memoir—the comedian (playing a man named Matt Pandamiglio) comes off as an endearing everyman whose self-described delusional attitude to his career extends to his personal life as well. While Matt hits the road to begin a not-especially promising stand-up career, his girlfriend, Abby (Lauren Ambrose), struggles to figure out if marriage is a legitimate option after dating for eight years. She’s not pressuring him, she just wants to know she’s not wasting her time. Matt, on the other hand, says he’s more focused on where to buy cereal than how to spend the rest of his life.
Other than the underplayed sleepwalking issue, “Sleepwalk With Me” unfolds as familiar problems with a funny, likable spin, much like Birbiglia’s easygoing, anecdotal comedy style. The lesson of not rushing into big decisions and not ignoring big health risks may be obvious, but laughing about past mistakes feels a lot better than regretting them.
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