22. Sleepwalk with Me
Director: Mike Birbiglia
Stars: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn
What a novel concept: a funny movie without any meanness, dick jokes, or set-ups based around flatulence. Mike Birbiglia might be onto something here.
Closely based on his own battles with romantic commitment and sleepwalking, all of which has been covered in his on-stage jokes, Sleepwalk with Me, the veteran stand-up comedian's directorial debut, centers on Matt, a struggling comedian (played by Birbiglia himself) who tends the bar at a local comedy club while dodging marriage to his loving and extremely patient girlfriend of eight years (Lauren Ambrose).
As his career slowly picks up, Matt questions both his relationship and his life even more, and it’s all told with the Birbiglia’s usual dry, unassuming sensibilities—his pleasantness and warmth give Birbiglia a sympathetic edge from the first scene onward. With its subtle humor and likeable sweetness, Sleepwalk with Me is the kind of comedy that easily wins you over by simply appreciating its own characters and simplicities, right down to the film’s honest, bittersweet, yet happy ending.