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A dream, a reality

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Last year I had the pleasure of hearing Mike Birbiglia’s standup comic special of the same title, so going into this movie, I kind of knew what to expect. That didn’t lessen the impact of the film on me at all. This is mostly thanks to Birbiglia’s unique presentation: he treats you as if you are watching the film.

“Remember: you’re on my side!”

The story is autobiographical, and, as Birbiglia states emphatically, is a true story. Faced with the decision of marriage while dealing with a dead-end job, a passive-aggressive family, and odd and increasingly dangerous sleepwalking phases (which seem to be triggered by the stress of his slowly fading relationship), Matt Pandamiglio (Birbiglia) chooses to ignore all of his problems and charge headfirst into his dream of becoming a standup comic. This is a smart film—it should be noted that Ira Glass of NPR fame had a hand in it—and its knowing style is perfect for the story and mannerisms of Birbiglia. He is prone to tangents, mumbling—basically a lack of focus that is evident in nearly every aspect of his life, and that translates wonderfully to film. The way reality melds with his dreams—both the sleeping kind and his goals for the future—is subtle but jarring. Much like a dream, it seems so real, bizarrely so, until that point where it is pushed over the line and you wake up. I was happy to see a lot of underrated comics (David Wain, Marc Maron), up-and-comers (John Lutz), and many Daily Show correspondents (Wyatt Cenac, Kristen Schaal) as the supporting cast in this film. It really helped sell the backstage vibe that they was going for when Pandamiglio finally goes on tour. Clearly, Birbiglia knows this material very well, and he has created a real gem. I’m looking forward to his future work, and I hope it’s less dangerous for him!

9/10
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Added by yord
4 years ago on 21 September 2012 11:12



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