Today I decided to sift through my queue and see if there were any films I’d tagged for later that I’d overlooked for far too long. By the by, don’t fear, I will return to the list of recommended Stream content in the weeks to come. Lake Bell’s In A World… has been available for quite a while and it was high time I give it a gander. Funny thing is, I didn’t realize my fellow writer, Emily Zietlow featured the exact same film just last week in her Eternal Characters of the Film Lover’s Mind. Obviously great minds think alike. Take a look at my brief recap of Bell’s film and if it sounds like something you may dig, give Emily’s far more insightful post a gander.
Carol Solomon (Lake Bell) is the daughter of the “King of Voice-Overs” Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed) and follows in his footsteps, or at least tries to. She earns a meager living as a vocal coach, but it isn’t enough to live on her own which she has to do now that Sam has kicked her out at the behest of his girlfriend Jamie (Alexandra Holden). Carol reaches out to her sister Dani (Michaela Matkins) for a place to crash. Carol’s approached by her friend Louis (Demetri Martin) to do a voice-over for a rom-com trailer, which the up and coming voice-over artist Gustav Warner (Ken Marino) had to drop. Her dad has been quick to remind her trailer work is best reserved for deep, manly voices such as his own, but she is ecstatic for the chance. Good thing since her work opens the door for a chance at the upcoming blockbuster The Amazon Games, a film Sam and Gustav feel far more suited to voice.
Lake Bell not only stars as Carol in In a World… but she debuts as the writer, director and producer behind it’s creation. Her inspiration came from the surprising lack of female voices in film trailers. Setting herself as the daughter of an industry icon, Bell introduces audiences to the insecure and charming Carol who is trying to prove her voice can rise above the chauvinistic din.
I’m not sure why I kept kicking In A World… down the road for so long. It seemed an interesting premise and I’ve enjoyed Lake Bell in her appearances in What Happens in Vegas and Childrens Hospital. Along those lines, Bell wrote many of the roles for specific actors; many of whom had previously worked with her like Rob Corddry and Cameron Diaz just to name a couple. From Bell’s engaging performance to even smaller contributions by Nick Offerman and Geena Davis, the casting
Carol’s main antagonist is her dad Sam, played with amazing presence by Fred Melamed. Melamed is known for his years of voice-over work, but he steps into the light to shine as Carol’s egotistical and denigrating father. His closed-minded views on the industry and lack of empathy towards both his daughters will infuriate viewers which is pitch-perfect for his character.
Bell not only gives a good performance, but Carol’s story is one you want to follow. The topic of voice-over work has always piqued my interest. In A World… not only introduces audiences to a subset of the entertainment industry, but posits the larger question of women’s roles in entertainment altogether.
Aside from a few quibbles, In A World… is a fantastic film. Bell will have you laughing with her impersonations and quirk, but will get you thinking about the struggle Carol faces. it’s worth the watch, twice if you have the time.