Sleepwalk with Me

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Sleepwalk with Me
Sleepwalk with Me Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mike Birbiglia
Produced by Ira Glass
Jacob Jaffke
Written by Mike Birbiglia
Ira Glass
Joe Birbiglia
Seth Barrish
Starring Mike Birbiglia
Lauren Ambrose
Carol Kane
James Rebhorn
Cristin Milioti
Music by Andrew Hollander
Cinematography Adam Beckman
Edited by Geoffrey Richman
Distributed by IFC Films
Release dates
  • January 23, 2012 (2012-01-23) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • August 24, 2012 (2012-08-24) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Sleepwalk with Me is a 2012 American independent comedy film written by, directed by, and starring comedian Mike Birbiglia. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best of NEXT Audience Award.[1] It was produced by Jacob Jaffke and This American Life's Ira Glass in association with Bedrocket Entertainment and WBEZ Chicago.


Sleepwalk with Me is a comedy written by, directed by and starring comedian Mike Birbiglia, 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 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”[2] and Time Out New York named it their “Show of the Year” for 2009.[3]

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,[4][5] was based on his one-man show of the same name and was a finalist for the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor.[6]


Critical reception and release[edit]

Sleepwalk with Me holds an 83% 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."[7] The film also holds a score of 71 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[8]

Sleepwalk with Me premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT category. Entertainment Weekly named it one of Sundance 2012 “Must See Films” and it was number 2 on Moviefone’s “Favorite Flicks From the Fest” list, calling it “Not just the funniest movie that I saw at Sundance, but the funniest movie I’ve seen in the last year.”[9][10]

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.[11][12] It was the centerpiece film at the Nantucket Film Festival, where it won the award for best writer/director.[13] 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 in theaters by IFC on August 24, 2012.[14][15][16] 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.[17] At 83%, Sleepwalk with Me made the "Best of 2012" list on Rotten Tomatoes.[18]

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.[19][20] 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."[21][22][23] 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.”[24]

Festival appearances[edit]

Festival Date Awards and distinctions
Sundance Film Festival January, 2012 Winner: Best of NEXT Audience Award
South By Southwest March, 2012 Festival Favorites Category
Independent Film Festival of Boston April, 2012 Opening Night Film
Seattle International Film Festival May, 2012
Lighthouse International Film Festival June, 2012 Closing Night Film
Provincetown International Film Festival June, 2012
Nantucket Film Festival June, 2012 Centerpiece Film, Winner: Best Writer/Director
BAM Cinema Fest June, 2012 Opening Night Film
Just for Laughs Film Festival July, 2012


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Borden, Jane (18 December 2009). "Best (and Worst) of 2009". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories Hits NY Times Bestseller List". October 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  5. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (October 22, 2010). "Best Sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  6. ^ McCarthy, Sean (22 August 2011). "2011 Thurber Prize Finalists: Mike Birbiglia, David Rakoff, and Rick Reilly". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Sleepwalk with Me at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Sleepwalk with Me at Metacritic
  9. ^ Breznican, Anthony. "JAN 19 2012 10:00 AM ET 321 Share Sundance 2012's must-see movies: 'Sleepwalk With Me,' 'Bachelorette,' 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' more". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Ryan, Mike (2012-01-27). "Sundance Film Festival: Moviefone's Favorite Flicks From the Fest". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sleepwalk with Me". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Sleepwalk with Me". Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me Wins Nantucket Film Festival Award". Theater Mania. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mike Birbiglia: From Stage to Screen With SLEEPWALK WITH ME". Nantucket Film Festival. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Sleepwalk with Me". Seattle International Film Festival. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Lee, Felicia (3 May 2012). "Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Sleepwalk With Me’ to Start BAMcinemaFest". New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ "The 14th Annual Golden Tomato Awards". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Award Nominees". The Gotham Independent FIlm Awards. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Stone, Sasha (Dec 11, 2012). "St. Louis Film Critics Nominees". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  21. ^ Erbland, Kate. "National Board of Review Awards Honor ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild,’ and More". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  22. ^ Gadino, Dylan P. "Louis C.K., Archer, Mike Birbiglia, more win big in Laughspin Readers’ Choice Awards". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  23. ^ Ryan, Mike (7 December 2012). "Best Movies Of 2012: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Lincoln,' 'The Avengers' & 33 More". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "The 100 Best Films of 2012". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 

External links[edit]