Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review of "Sleepwalk With Me"

You probably won’t see the film I’m writing about today. It very well may not be playing in a theater near you. It might not make it into the Redbox. You might think, “Well, I’ll put it on my Netflix list” but before you add it to your queue, you could well be distracted by a Yahoo headline on which change restaurant does the healthiest sushi.***** Anyway, the movie is “Sleepwalk With Me”, a low budget romantic comedy that received acclaim at the film festivals that acclaim a lot of films most of us never even hear about. One of the reasons I heard about this film, and wanted to see it, is because my daughter Jill went to see the film’s premiere in New York City. Her current Facebook profile picture was taken with the film’s star, writer and director, Mike Birbiglia. (More evidence this is a little film. Jill would have been quite unlikely to be able to get a picture with, say, Christian Bale on the red carpet at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises”.)***** The film is a slightly fictionalize telling of Birbiglia’s experiences (mainly “the names have been changed” as they used to say on “Dragnet”.) Mike plays “Matt”, a aspiring stand-up comedian in a long term relationship with a woman (Abby in the film, real name unknown); that everyone assumes is headed for marriage.***** But he’s not excited or fulfilled in the relationship and she isn’t either. But they continue on because neither person wants to hurt the other’s feelings. The metaphor in the title is they’re sleepwalking in the relationship. But Matt’s repressed emotions seek an outlet, and he begins to literally sleepwalk.***** The film mines humor focusing on the minutia of relationships, but also makes some good points about the dangers of letting inertia dominate our relationships and decision making.***** Viewing the film reminded me of two verses from Ephesians. The first is from chapter 5, verse 14, “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” We often let habit, both sinful habits and neutral life patterns, take us through the motions in life when God wants so much more for us in Christ.***** The second verse I thought of was from Ephesians 4:15, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow.” That balance of truth and love is so very important.***** Walking in our sleep is a dangerous thing. We need to wake up and walk in God’s light.

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