Sundance London: Sleepwalk With Me Review

 Sleepwalk_With_Me

Director: Mike Birbiglia.

Starring: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn, Carol Kane.

Running Time: 81 minutes.

Synopsis: An underachieving comedian, stressed out by his lack of work and his long-running relationship with his girlfriend, finds himself sleepwalking, leading to all manner of problems with his personal life.

A funny and poignant film about love, honesty and fulfilment (or lack of), SLEEPWALK WITH ME tells the story of Matt (Mike Birbiglia), a budding comedian who lacks confidence and funny material, but has a great relationship with his girlfriend, Abby (played by SIX FEET UNDER’s Lauren Ambrose). However, Matt has a sleepwalking problem; a disorder which is a catalyst for the events of the film, testing Matt’s commitment, responsibilities and relationships to breaking point.

SLEEPWALK WITH ME boasts some fine comic performances from its cast, especially Birbiglia who has instant rapport with the audience from his opening address to camera. There are some great characters here, notably Matt’s unknowingly eccentric mother, played by the excellent Carol Kane, and the humour is genuinely funny throughout, with the dream and sleepwalking sequences both inventive and hilarious.

The film’s plot is nothing special, however, and meanders about for a fair bit of its running time, picking up a great deal during the film’s climactic scenes. The plot may be thin, but not every good comedy film needs a super complex narrative to succeed. All it needs is genuinely funny performers, a strong script and decent humour, which SLEEPWALK WITH ME has in bucket loads. The film is consistent, retaining the humour throughout, even when it chooses to go for a more melancholy ending over the typical happy one, a sudden but brave move that is a welcome choice from its writers and director.

Solid direction, a well-tuned and funny script, and above all, some damn talented comedic actors help to make SLEEPWALK WITH ME a successful comedy through and through and definitely worth losing sleep over should you fail to see it at this year’s festival!

4 Star New

THE SUNDANCE LONDON FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL RUNS FROM 25-28 APRIL AT THE O2. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TICKETS VISIT: http://www.sundance-london.com

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From an early age, Matt Dennis dreamt of one day becoming a Power Ranger. Having achieved that dream back in the noughties, he’s now turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting. Matt can often be found in front of a TV screen, watching his current favourite shows such as DOCTOR WHO, GAME OF THRONES, SHERLOCK, MISFITS, and THE WALKING DEAD, though he’s partial to a bit of vintage TV from yesteryear. Matt also co-presents the Geek Cubed podcast, which you can download from iTunes. It’s quite nice.

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