Sleepwalk With Me

Mike Birbiglia
Film // August 28, 2016

Playing out like an episode of This American Life, Sleepwalk With Me chronicles a turbulent time in Mike Birbiglia’s life, where his sleep problems multiply, his relationship starts to crumble and his comedy career continues to languish. It’s not surprising to find Sleepwalk With Me carry the same mood as This American Life considering Birbiglia has been a frequent contributor to the podcast, and Ira Glass serves as producer here. These experiences bring along a narrative that’s full of quirks and motives tied into a neat self-contained piece.

But what works in a podcast doesn’t always translate to a feature film. Sleepwalk With Me feels stretched even at its brisk 80 minutes. It’s stylistically bare and the story struggles to stay engaging with the flashback format bogging down the pacing. The fun premise might’ve worked as a podcast segment or stand-up routine, but it crumbles when it takes center stage. Birbiglia is funny and charming, but he’s not quite a movie star.