Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sleepwalk with Me

Hours after the show, I think I’ve figured out why I hated Mike Pandamiglio, the autobiographical would-be comic played by Mike Birbiglia in the NPR comedy “Sleepwalk With Me” (besides that name, of course): whiny and nasally, feckless and ineffectual, perpetually clad in sweatpants, slouched over as if to hide his height, he’s the quintessential Haverford man. What Lauren Ambrose, as his girlfriend of eight years, sees in him I’ll leave to a keener imagination; then again, she’s got nothing going for her, either. Throw in some truly unfunny stand-up (only some of it intentionally so), and an egregious performance by James Rebhorn as Mike’s no-shades-of-gray asshole dad, and 81 minutes have rarely felt longer. Everything about the picture is undergraduate – it’s never as sophisticated, funny, or wise as it thinks – except the daft sleepwalking scenes, seemingly patched in from another movie and unworthy of a good high school theatrical troupe. Only a rare Carol Kane sighting keeps “Sleepwalk With Me” from a place among the year’s worst.

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