Sleepwalk with Me

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Sleepwalk with Me Movie Poster Image
Comedian faces sleep disorders and girlfriend troubles.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The main character spends most of the movie avoiding his problems -- namely, his sleepwalking and his relationship troubles -- though in the end, he reaches a point at which he faces and conquers them. He also learns to improve his comedy by making it personal, rather than simply writing jokes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character seems like a good person, though he does a few questionable things, like cheating on his girlfriend. He requires some drastic intervention and inspiration before he's able to face and overcome his life's challenges. Teens hoping to be comedians will be interested in the way the character improves his act over the course of the movie.

Violence

While sleepwalking, the main character jumps out of a window and cuts his legs on the broken glass; viewers see some blood. There are somewhat violent dream sequences in which a character brandishes a gun, though it isn't fired. Characters sometimes argue as well.

Sex

In a flashback, the main character meets his future girlfriend. They kiss and plan for their first sexual experience, though nothing is shown. In the present day, while on the road, a woman flirts with and kisses the main character. He decides to cheat on his girlfriend with this woman. They have sex in his car, though nothing is shown except steamy windows and some movement. The woman is also shown wearing a "Hooters" T-shirt. The main character talks about sex in his act, but nothing very vulgar.

Language

One "f--k" and one "s--t"; also "goddamn," "damn," "hell," "boobs," and "oh my God."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character works as a bartender and makes drinks for others in several scenes. Characters drink wine at family gatherings. Comedians drink beer together after a show. The main character gets drunk before deciding to have sex and cheat on his girlfriend.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sleepwalk with Me is an independent dramedy co-written by, co-directed by, and starring comedian Mike Birbiglia, based on his one-man show, which is in turn based on events from his life as a chronic sleepwalker. The movie depicts the main character's dreams, which can sometimes be violent -- in one scene, for example, he jumps out a window and cuts his legs on the broken glass (blood is shown). Another dream features a gun. The character kisses two women, his girlfriend in a flashback, and another woman on the road. Sex is implied, but not shown. Language is very light; only one "s--t" is heard coming from a TV set, and "goddamn" is used. There's some social drinking, with characters occasionally getting drunk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 August 16, 2013

Don't sleep on Birbiglia

This mostly harmless comedy with one brief outburst of profanity is definitely not Hollywood, but Birbiglia casting himself as the lead might have been a mistak... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old June 30, 2018

COOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL (I only know about the actual book)

Okay. So. You're probably expecting what I'm about to tell you. It has very funny incidents and accidents and whatsoever. But INSIDE those incidents a... Continue reading

What's the story?

Matt (Mike Birbiglia) wants to be a comedian but instead works as a bartender. He does have a great girlfriend, Abby (Lauren Ambrose), though after eight years together, his parents (James Rebhorn and Carol Kane), family, and friends start to wonder why they aren't getting married. At the same time, Matt begins sleepwalking, which quickly turns dangerous. But before he can face any of these problems, he starts getting comedy work on the road. Traveling around and sleeping in hotel rooms, his problems only get worse. It takes a particularly scary sleepwalking dream about jumping out of a window to make Matt wake up and take action.

Is it any good?

Birbiglia is a likeable, almost cuddly comedian, who -- amazingly -- uses almost no profanity in his act. Co-written with Ira Glass, the host and producer of National Public Radio's "This American Life," and with Birbiglia's brother Joe, SLEEPWALK WITH ME is based on Birbiglia's life, specifically dealing with his sleepwalking problem and his relationship troubles. Birbiglia occasionally narrates the events with a funny viewpoint, but after that, the movie is a sweetly effective drama.

Much of the credit goes to Ambrose, who brings heart and humanity to her role. She makes it seem realistic that this couple could stay together even though Matt is such a sad sack. But it's not until the movie's second half that it really picks up momentum and builds drama; the first half is stuck in a holding pattern, taking too long to establish the characters. But by the time Sleepwalk with Me crosses the finish line, it's difficult not to genuinely like everyone involved.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Matt's comedy improves when he begins talking about his life, rather than making up jokes about TV shows. What makes audiences connect with him?

  • Why would Matt agree to have sex with the girl in the bar when he knows how much it would hurt his girlfriend and their relationship?

Movie details

For kids who love quirky movies

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