"I'm going to tell you a story..."
So begins the first trailer for "Sleepwalk With Me," comedian Mike Birbiglia's winning screen debut based on his Off-Broadway show of the same name. (The show spawned an award-winning book, comedy album and a segment on the popular radio show "This American Life.")
As detailed in those many mediums, Birbiglia battled with an REM behavior disorder that made him prone to very active bouts of sleepwalking. In "Sleepwalk with Me," the comic is not playing himself, per se, but Matt Pandamiglio, a struggling, Brooklyn-based comic in the throes of life crisis: After eight years together, his girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) wants to get married, much to his consternation. (Soon thereafter, Matt's own sleepwalking episodes begin.)
"The screenplay took two years to write," Birbiglia told Moviefone after "Sleepwalk With Me" screened at SXSW in March. "I have to say, part of the reason we ended up making it was I was just antsy to make it. So much of my process is trial and error; so much of it is writing something in a day, and often putting it on stage that night. So, the Hollywood idea of like having 95 scripts in the bullpen -- I don't really want to be in the bullpen; it's just not where I want to live my life. I want to be a starting pitcher and if i throw some bad games, I'll learn from it and get better."
Spoiler: He doesn't have to get much better. "Sleepwalk With Me" is an assured debut that recalls both Woody Allen and Judd Apatow (with a dash of Martin Scorsese). Not convinced? Watch the first trailer above and check out what Birbiglia had to say about his filming process by clicking here.
"Sleepwalk With Me" arrives in theaters via IFC on Aug. 24.