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Laramie Movie Scope:
Sleepwalk With Me

A guy sleepwalks into a bar, see?

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 28, 2012 -- This very offbeat romantic comedy is based on a true story. In fact, this film seems like a documentary at first because part of it is told in first person by the guy who wrote the film and who also stars in it as himself. Some of those parts are also filmed in documentary style.

Mike Birbiglia is the star, writer and co-director of the film. He is a stand up comic afflicted with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder which results in him acting out his dreams at times. In one instance, shown in the movie, he jumped right through second story window while he was asleep. Mike's extreme sleepwalking episodes seem to be brought on by stress. In the early part of the film he is in a lot of stress financially and in his relationship with his girlfriend, Abby (Lauren Ambrose of the TV Series “Six Feet Under”).

Mike has lost his job. At the same time, he is working on his stand up comic act. His career as a stand up comic at this point does not look promising and this is a very tough way to make a living, but he is determined. He hooks up with a quirky manager who gets him a few gigs. He goes out on the road in a run-down car, trying to make a living while building up his collection of jokes. His sleepwalking episodes get worse.

As Mike spends more and more time on the road, he grows apart from Abby and their relationship gets strained to the breaking point. This part of the story is hard to believe because Abby is so beautiful and is portrayed so sympathetically in the movie, it seems like Mike has to be crazy to betray her and break her heart. If this was a fictional story instead of a true one, I suspect the filmmakers would have made Abby a character easier to dislike. This makes the film seem more real and less like a standard romantic comedy.

Even though the story does have its serious elements, it is very funny. Mike is a funny guy, onstage and off. The conflict in Mike's life gets sorted out and he finds a funny solution to his sleepwalking problem. This same story is the subject of a successful one-man stage show written and performed by Mike Birbiglia in New York in 2008 and 2009. He later wrote a successful book about this story. He has followed that up with this very successful film. Mike Birbiglia is a very impressive young talent. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)