Last week while listening to NPR radio I heard that veteran voice-over man Hal Douglas had died at the age of 89. Douglas had done thousands of voice-overs for movies, commercials, and TV shows. He did the trailers for Men in Black, Forest Gump, Philadelphia, and Meet the Parents; hawked products like Mercedes Benz and Trojan condoms on the cable; and narrated commercials for Broadway plays like Cats and Dreamgirls, just to mention a few of his accomplishments. So when I was perusing for my DVD of the day and read that the movie “In a World…” was about voice-overs, I decided to give it a try.
Lake Bell, who wrote, directed, and at starred in “In a World…” plays Carol, the daughter of a famous voice-over man named Sam Sotto (Fred Malamed). Carol aspires to get into the voice-over business herself, but her father is adamant that voice-over is a man’s world and that she should stick with doing foreign accents, which she excels at. Sam is nearing the end of his career and he is grooming a young up and comer named Gustav (Ken Marino) to follow in his steps, but when he finds out that his daughter is posing a serious challenge to Gustav for a huge Hunger Games - like movie project in the voice-over department, he comes out of his semi-retirement to challenge his own daughter. The reason being: that voice-over is a man’s domain ─ with no exceptions.
When I started to think about it, voice-over really is a man’s domain. When is the last time you went to the movies and heard a woman narrate the trailer? Lake Bell, who actually wanted to be a voice-over narrator, was rebuffed in the industry, so she became a writer-director-actor in order to tell her true story. This is a very good movie, with some poignant and hilarious dialogue. See it.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Voice Overs.