Sleepwalk with Me

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Sleepwalk with Me
Sleepwalk with Me Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Birbiglia
Produced by
Written by
  • Mike Birbiglia
  • Ira Glass
  • Joe Birbiglia
  • Seth Barrish
Music byAndrew Hollander
CinematographyAdam Beckman
Edited byGeoffrey Richman
  • Bedrock Media
  • WBEZ Chicago
Distributed byIFC Films
Release date
  • January 23, 2012 (2012-01-23) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • August 24, 2012 (2012-08-24) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.2 million[1]

Sleepwalk with Me is a 2012 American independent comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Mike Birbiglia. It also stars Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, and Cristin Milioti. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2012, where it won the Best of NEXT Audience Award.[2] It was released on August 24, 2012, by IFC Films.[3] The story featured in the first act of episode #361 of This American Life, titled "Fear of Sleep".[4]


Based on a true story as told in his one-man off-Broadway show and his first book, the film follows the journey of an aspiring comedian in denial about the fate of his relationship, his goals for the future, and his emergent rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. The longer his feelings of anxiety go unexpressed, the more uproarious and dangerous his sleepwalking incidents become.


In 2008, Birbiglia wrote and starred in Sleepwalk with Me, a one-man show performed off-Broadway at the Bleecker Street Theatre in New York City. The show blended stand-up comedy with theater and was a critical success. The New York Times called the Nathan Lane-presented show "simply perfect"[5] and Time Out New York named it their "Show of the Year" for 2009.[6]

After his theatrical debut, Birbiglia wrote Sleepwalk With Me & Other Painfully True Stories. The book, which debuted at number 29 on The New York Times' hardcover nonfiction bestseller list,[7] was based on his one-man show of the same name and was a finalist for the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor.[8]


Critical reception and release[edit]

Sleepwalk with Me holds an 84% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 109 reviews and an average rating of 7.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Laugh-out-loud funny and endearingly messy, Sleepwalk with Me overcomes its tonal inconsistencies to deliver a sweetly melancholic, amiably reassuring indie crowd-pleaser."[10] The film also holds a score of 71 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[11] Sleepwalk With Me has been nominated for awards and named to many year-end lists. Birbiglia was nominated for Breakthrough Actor at the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the film was nominated for Best Arthouse Film by the St. Louis Film Critics.[12] It was also named one of the top ten independent films of 2012 by the National Board of Review, Laughspin readers' favorite comedy film of the year, and #27 of Huffington Post's Best Films of 2012 list, where Mike Ryan said it was "the funniest movie of the year."[13] named it #11 on their 100 Best Films of 2012 list, saying "Veteran comedian/first-time director Mike Birbiglia does something that Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, and Judd Apatow were never able to quite pull off: Making a film that honestly portrays the life of a stand-up."[14]


Sleepwalk with Me premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT category.[15] Sleepwalk with Me was also screened at the South By Southwest Film Festival and was the opening night film at the Independent Film Festival of Boston.[16] Shortly after, IFC Films acquired distribution rights to the film.[17] It was the centerpiece film at the Nantucket Film Festival, where it won the award for best writer/director.[18] It has also appeared at the Seattle International Film Festival, the Lighthouse International Film Festival, the Provincetown International Film Festival, and was the opening night film at BAMcinemaFest in Brooklyn, NY, where it sold out BAM's Opera House. It was released on August 24, 2012.[19] Sleepwalk with Me broke record for the IFC Center's biggest opening weekend ever and was also the highest per-screen debut for a first-time American filmmaker.[20]


  1. ^ "Sleepwalk with Me". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Rich, Katey (2012-01-30). "Top Sundance Prizes Go To Beasts Of the Southern Wild, The House I Live In, And More". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  3. ^ Jaugernauth, Kevin (July 11, 2012). "Watch: The Trailer For Mike Birbiglia's Sundance-Celebrated 'Sleepwalk With Me'". Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  4. ^ "Fear of Sleep - This American Life". 8 August 2008.
  5. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2008-11-14). "Theater Review – 'Sleepwalk With Me' – Mike Birbiglia in a One-Man Show at the Bleecker Street Theater". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  6. ^ Borden, Jane (18 December 2009). "Best (and Worst) of 2009". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ McCarthy, Sean (22 August 2011). "2011 Thurber Prize Finalists: Mike Birbiglia, David Rakoff, and Rick Reilly". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  9. ^ Symkus, Ed (July 15, 2015). "Shrewsbury comedian Mike Birbiglia on the silver screen in 'Trainwreck'". Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Sleepwalk with Me at Rotten Tomatoes
  11. ^ Sleepwalk with Me at Metacritic
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The 100 Best Films of 2012". Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ L. Dickey, Josh (March 9, 2012). "IFC nabs Sundance pic 'Sleepwalk With Me'". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  18. ^ "Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me Wins Nantucket Film Festival Award". Theater Mania. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Pride, Ray. "SLEEPWALK WITH ME Scores At IFC CENTER, Breaking An Overall First-Time Filmmaker Screen Average Record And The House Record". Movie City News. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

External links[edit]