In a world… Three words made famous by one man – the late legendary voice-over artist, Don LaFontaine. Set in the world of that world (the Hollywood voice-over industry), In a World… introduces us to Carol Solomon (Lake Bell who also writes and directs the film), daughter of the best in the business, Sam Soto (real life voice-over maestro, Fred Melamed). Working as a vocal coach specializing in dialects, Carol has dreams of becoming an equal to her father, but the industry may not be ready for a woman’s touch just yet.
This quirky comedy also stars Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, and Nick Offerman. Jeff Garlin, Eva Longoria, Joe Cipriano, and Cameron Diaz cameo as themselves.
When the opportunity to become the voice of the hottest new quadrilogy, The
Hunger Amazon Games comes along, friends, family, and casual hookups all find themselves pitted against one another in a race to be the first to resurrect that one iconic phrase. “In a world…”
Blurring the lines between real life and and fiction, In a World acknowledges the death of LaFontaine and features actual voice-over artists, some playing themselves and others as fictional characters. It chronicles Carol’s tough journey into a real life world dominated by men, though of course her character and story are all fictional. To me, in some ways it almost feels like a hybrid biopic, despite the fact that the main characters are all fake.
In addition to the primary plot, there are a number of side stories going on as well. Carol’s sister and brother in-law (Watkins and Corddry) are struggling with their marriage, Sam is attempting to mentor the next big thing in the industry (Marino), and Demetri Martin’s character is awkwardly in love with Carol.
It’s partially this mish mash of side quests that really holds this film back. It’s got a great sense of straight-faced humor and an interesting premise. The characters are developed and likeable. The plot, however, rarely finds truly solid ground as it jumps around and about. It’s perfectly enjoyable, and even a bit fascinating as it gives us a glimpse into the (fictionalized) world of movie trailer voice-overs, but Bell’s inexperience as a director shows as the film struggles to stay on target pretty frequently. Additionally, for a movie about voice work, there is a disappointing lack of voice work. I appreciate that the doing different accents and voices gags are not over used, but I don’t feel like they were even used to their full potential. The amount of talent showcased is impressive, as is Bell’s ability to mimic other people’s speech patterns. I would have loved to have seen more of this.
It’s a different movie and a welcome break from most mainstream comedies that’s worth seeing, but I don’t know if I’d recommend seeking it out in theaters – especially considering how hard a task that might be. It’s certainly worth adding to your Netflix queue though.
Mrs. Hamster says:
“The ending was really abrupt and it felt unresolved to me.”
My Rating: Three out of Five Hats
In a World… is currently in limited release, slowly expanding. This weekend it announces itself in 92 theaters.