Mike Coppola/Getty ImagesComedian Mike Birbiglia is set to continue his budding career as a filmmaker, following up last year's Sundance Audience Prize-winning “Sleepwalk With Me.” He is slated to write and star in an adaptation of his stand-up act “My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.” The film will “have a different name, but that's the jumping-off point,” Birbiglia told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Sleepwalk With Me,” also derived from Birbiglia's stand-up, led to a book by the same name and a segment on “This American Life.” The program’s host Ira Glass liked Birbiglia’s stuff so much that he co-produce the film. After making a splash at Sundance and elsewhere on the festival circuit, “Sleepwalk With Me” went on to make a number of best-of-2012 lists, with Film.com—which picked it as #11—saying “Veteran comedian/first-time director Mike Birbiglia does something that Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, and Judd Apatow were never able to quite pull off: Making a film that honestly portrays the life of a stand-up.”
Birbiglia intends the new project to be in a similar vein, telling THR of the new “My Girlfriend's Boyfriend”-based film: “I'm just kind of focused on making sure we can maintain the integrity we had with 'Sleepwalk.'” He went on to attribute the success of the earlier film in achieving that level of truth to the level of creative control he was afforded: “We could do whatever we wanted....I get the feeling that that's not always the case at all the larger movie-house operations.”
Birbiglia's stand-up has invited comparisons to Jerry Seinfeld and Louis CK for the way he incorporates his personal life into his routines. “Sleepwalk,” for example, grew out of Birbiglia's experience with rapid eye movement behavior disorder, which has led to his physician mandating that he never stay in a room above ground level in case he accidentally jumps out a window in his sleep, as happened once, requiring 33 stitches to his leg.
The comedian is currently touring worldwide with “My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.” Further news on the development of the film, and its eventual new title, will the forthcoming as it emerges.