Set in the world of Hollywood voice-over talent, “In a World…” is a funny and smart Hollywood satire that pays tribute to the men and women who contribute their pipes to movie trailers.
Carol (Lake Bell) is an underachieving vocal-coach who has been living in the shadow of her vocal legend father, Sam Sotto (Fred Melemed). Carol dreams of doing voice-overs for commercials and movie trailers in a male-dominated industry. When he is kicked out by her father in order to intend to his much younger girlfriend, Carol goes to live with her older sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her husband Moe (Rob Corddry). When a new film franchise entitled “The Amazon Games” is looking to for a new voice to bring back the famous “In a world…” phrase, she finds herself competing for that coveted job against her father’s protégé Gustav (Ken Marino).
“In a World…” allows Bell to give herself the opportunity to showcase her talent not only as a great actress, but also as a competent filmmaker. In front of the camera, Bell is an exceptional vocal impressionist (her Russian “Star Wars” Stormtrooper and “sexy-baby” voices are hilarious) and a multitalented comedian. Bell just barely scratches the surface as a writer when she expands her focus beyond the world of movie trailers. She also does efficient job as a satirist in portraying how young women come across as 21st Century Valley Girls thanks to the advent of reality television.
Bell, who is a regular on Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital,” does a fantastic job for her first time behind the camera as she brings her comic sensibility and comedic timing in her feature directorial debut. She also not afraid to share the wealth by giving her supporting cast like “Children’s Hospital” co-stars Marino and Corddry some great lines thanks to her snappy dialogue.
A side-plot involving Dani’s and Moe’s marriage is played as a straightforward melodrama and it threatens to veer into serious territory, but Watkins and Corddry were able to make those scenes believable with their performances. There are also some moments from the film that feel as episodic as episodes of a TV sitcom about Hollywood voice-over artists.
Despite feeling episodic at times, “In a World…” is great vehicle for a talented comedian like Bell. Hopefully, her feature directorial debut would get her more opportunities to another film.
“In a World…” is now playing at AMC Sunset Place 24 and Regal South Beach Stadium 18. Click here for showtimes.