Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Sleepless Review: A Cute Premise For A Too Long Date Night

Release date: April 27, 2021
Running time: 77 minutes
Starring: Nyambi Nyambi and Rebecca De Ornelas  
Directed By: Michale DiBiasio

The Sleepless is a unique romantic comedy about two strangers, Zach (Nyambi) and Sophia (De Ornelas), who are both struggling with insomnia. When the pair meet each other randomly at 3AM, in the only spot nearby open for coffee, sparks don’t necessarily fly. With a gentle nudge from bodega owner Samir, and with nothing better to do, Zach and Sophia decide to amble together through the predawn hours. Although Sophia is guarded and Zach appears weary, each seems to instantly connect to the other. 

The Sleepless starts off with an interesting black and white style.  It immediately jumps out at you and lets you know that this film is going to be different.  The main premise is one that I normally would love, two strangers meet due to their insomnia and decide to spend the night talking rather than staying at their apartments alone.  It is a cute setup and one that should have been more resonant.  And the film also has a lot of very cute touches that will make you smile when you see them, like little mugs that have fun sayings on them.  And the film does make the most of its indie nature, with nice long tracking shots and an interesting pair to watch throughout the night.

However, the film is billed as a romantic comedy but it just was not very funny.  There are moments of humor but overall, the conversation does not lead to many laughs and even fewer smiles.  It was a strange situation as I really liked the characters, especially Nyambi, but their conversation just did not grab me or make me laugh.  It also wasn't that interesting, as they go off into esoteric topics and on some rants during the night.  And there was one particular conversation that Sophia went on about how she should approach situations that felt a little tone deaf when dictating that to a black man in New York.  I imagine this was filmed before the summer of 2020, but it just did not resonate with where the current world is.  There were also little touches that let you know the indie budget of this film; but most noticeable was a camera that was a little too shaky during some scenes and audio that would sometimes sound far away.  The film had a very cute style but I was hoping it would be so much more.  This is a premise that I should have been transfixed on, but the conversation just did not resonate with me and the overall story was slow and felt longer than it should have.  The film only had a 77 minute runtime, but I was consistently checking to see how much of that was left.  

The Sleepless has an enjoyable premise and interesting leads, but the conversation did not grab me like I was hoping and this date night just dragged too long.

Pass on it.

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The Sleepless is available digitally and on VOD on April 27, 2021.  

For additional information about the film and to stream it free on Amazon Prime, click here.

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