“Sleepwalk with Me” is mildly amusing, but not outright funny.
Comedian Mike Birbiglia tells us three basic, intertwined stories. He relates the narrative in a style similar to that of public radio show “This American Life.” That’s because the script was co-written by TAL’s Ira Glass, based on one of his shows. “Sleepwalk with Me” has also been performed as an Off-Broadway show and has been made into a book.
The three stories are those of his relationship with a longtime girlfriend, the beginning of his career as a standup comic and the tale of his sleepwalking woes. The stories intersect and play together well.
But I expected to laugh and I did not. Okay, a couple of teehees and a few smiles, but no audible, involuntary, genuine laughter.
If you are a fan of Birbiglia and his humor or a fan of “This American Life,” you may enjoy the movie more than others will.
Birbiglia is a decent enough actor. He is not particularly charismatic, nor overly weird. He is a regular schlub. His cast includes Lauren Ambrose as his girlfriend and Carol Kane (of the old “Taxi” TV show) as his mother. Talented character actor James Rebhorn appears as his father.
The efforts to generate popular demand for the movie following its debut at Sundance last winter are impressive. Sadly, what we see on screen is not worthy of those efforts. This is a lightweight movie, which could have benefited from a bit more substance.