Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Serendipity: Mike Birbiglia
I posted a little bit last Sunday about Mike Birbiglia (bur-BIG-lee-uh). We'd just watched (Netflix streaming) his stand-up/one-man show hybrid called My Girlfriend's Boyfriend; we both loved it. Birbiglia comes across as a self-effacing, highly intelligent, sensitive man, whose act, somehow, seems almost unrehearsed, though, obviously it's far, far, far from that.
(Here's a YouTube trailer for an interview with him about the performance.)
Well, on Sunday and Monday nights we watched (1/2 each night) his film Sleepwalk with Me (2012), a film with a few recognizable faces (besides his): Lauren Ambrose (remember HBO's Six Feet Under?) and a brief appearance by Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show) and an evil turn as the father by James Rebhorn.
(Here's a trailer for the film--via YouTube.)
I like some of the things Birbiglia did--addressing us directly at times throughout the film (not a new technique by any stretch--but effective), continuing his self-effacing style (one scene in a pajama bottom is especially ... revealing).
It's the story of a young man (Birbiglia) in a long relationship with a young woman (Ambrose). The problem: He doesn't want to get married. He does want to be a stand-up comedian, though, and there are some wrenching scenes of some of his failures. Painful to watch--as are his guilt-soaked conversations with Ambrose, who's been busily planning the wedding he doesn't want to have.
As I read more about him online, I see that he has been around for quite a while--has won awards, appears on NPR, has recordings, etc. (Message: Joyce and I are out of it.) Oh well. I've got the DVD for his What I Should Have Said Was Nothing in my Netflix queue. So it's catch-up time ...
All of this, by the way, I say has been possible for us because of my recent (impulse) purchase of an Amazon Fire TV device, which has made streaming incredibly easy. On Fire's Netflix site, I get all kinds of recommendations (all based, of course, on my previous viewing)--and one of them was Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. Clicked on it. Haven't regretted it, not for a second.
(Trailer for What I Should Have Said ...)