Commedia della noche

Mike Birbiglia stars as a stand-up comedian whose problems coping with a sleep disorder and committing to his girlfriend of many years (Lauren Ambrose) seem to be linked. This sharp romantic comedy began as a one-man show, and you can tell: the hero’s voice-over narration wraps around the entire movie, and the scenes are mainly verbal. It plays like one long routine, encompassing shorter routines within it as the young performer learns the craft of comedy and begins working up material about his stalled love relationship. Along the way there are interesting glimpses of the profession, especially the woes of playing the college circuit, yet the hero’s relationships with other comics are markedly more friendly and sustaining than, for instance, in Judd Apatow’s Funny People. Birbiglia codirected with Seth Barrish; the cast incudes Marc Maron, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, and David Wain. 90 min.