Acknowledging a part of the film business that few people think about, “In a World…” is Lake Bell’s tribute to vocal art while exposing the sexism of the field. Full of humorous conversations and a fantastic team of actors, writer/director/star Lake Bell achieves an original, enjoyable comedy with “In a World.”
Struggling for success in a field dominated by men and partially ruled by her father (Fred Melamed), Carol (Bell) is a somewhat immature woman in her early 30s, works as a vocal coach, and stays with either her father or sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her brother-in-law Moe (Rob Corddry) due to no regular income. She spends her time studying accents while following strangers or getting handout jobs from friend Louis (Demetri Martin). She happens to be at the right place at the right time when a job opportunity to voiceover for a commercial falls into her lap when voice talent Gustav (Ken Marino) misses the gig. From there, her voice receives numerous job opportunities and rustles the feathers of the voiceover community due to her sex. Meanwhile, her sister and brother-in-law’s relationship struggles with fidelity, her father dates a woman (Alexandra Holden) younger than her, and Carol’s love-life becomes slightly complicated.
The greatest asset of the film is the ease at which the actors work together; the cast truly feels like family and friends goofing around. Carol and Dani’s “sister code” is comfortable, Rob Corddry plays an ideal brother-in-law, and the whole team working at the sound studio, including Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, and Stephanie Allynne, mesh naturally together. The only star that is out of place is Geena Davis, but the harsh reality she drops suits her colder demeanor.
An impressive first feature-length film, Lake Bell earns much respect for all of her duties on “In a World;” as writer, director, producer, and star of the film, she obviously has lots of control and vision in her filmmaking. Quirky mannerisms, playful and realistic dialogue, a feminist stance against “sexy baby” voices, and a creative yet personal perspective on part of the Hollywood industry together stamps her personality on this silly and positive film.
Rating for “In a World…:” A
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“In a World” is not currently playing in Columbus.