Lake Bell stars and directs in this clever, delightful comedy about a struggling voice coach, Carol, who falls into a new career: a female movie trailer voice-over- much to the dislike of every male in the industry including her father. Soon enough, the two are competing for the same role, the role of a lifetime, the role of voicing a trailer beginning with those three big words: “IN A WORLD…” Some great characters include Nick Offerman as a very cool cat at the production studio, Demetri Martin as an awkward but lovable love interest, and Fred Melamed as Carol’s overbearing father and voice-over legend, Sam Soto.
This was a truly funny movie and also poignant in that it points out blatant sexism behind-the-scenes in the movie industry. Sam is a legend and is grooming Gustav (played by Ken Marino, Ron from “Party Down,” a an entertainingly douchy way) to b the next big voice-over star. Never mind that he has a daughter who wants to do the same, because it’s ridiculous that a woman could take over that world. “I’m not being sexist, but…” Sam says to his daughter, attempting to crush her dream AND simultaneously proving that any phrase beginning with “I’m not being BLANK…” is in fact a very BLANK thing to say.
Carol doesn’t listen to him at all, of course. With the help of her buds at the production studio, she gets audition after audition after audition, including the “In a world…” audition. Her coworker Louis (Martin) has a thing for her the takes us viewers back to the awkward high school days where we didn’t know how to SPEAK to people. Carol and Louis have lovely, awkward chemistry, which brings me to The Most Memorable Scene of “In a World…” Louis wants to help her win the big audition and makes an uncomfortable but beautiful declaration of love. Finally. She sleeps at his apartment, in a separate room, and for 10 or 15 minutes we just watch them be awkward around each other before Carol says something like, “Is it weird that we’re sleeping in different rooms when we’ve already admitted that we like each other?” The whole thing ends up being funny rather than uncomfortable. Because who isn’t tired of beautiful, smooth-opraters acting perfectly cool around other hot people?
All of this to say, this is a film that is clever, insightful, and not afraid to make the audience a little uneasy. It’s a story about brewing through that glass ceiling- which can be very difficult when your own parent in the one trying to keep you on that lower level. Lake Bell created a very memorable comedy.