Tuesday, February 11, 2014


In A World...

Written & Directed 
Lake Bell

        Writer-director-actress Lake Bell's first feature film In A World... is a smart, delightful comedy that revolves around the movie trailer voice-over world. A competitive, male dominated world where Bell plays Carol Solomon, an underachieving voice-over coach and daughter of a famous voice-over talent Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed). She wants to be in the business. It is all she has known her whole life, but does not want to be put on the back burner because of her more successful father or the fact she is a woman. She also has to fight against the burgeoning talented new "it-man" in the voice-over business Gustav Warner (Ken Marino), but has the help of a shy sound recordist Louis (Demetri Martin) who not only wants to help her succeed because she has a damn good voice, but has a little crush on her as well. In A World... is a great success and a wonderful introduction to the overall talent of one Lake Bell.
     Other than seeing her in the flat HBO series "How To Make It In America" where she was the only good thing about the show, I have not seen Ms. Bell in a lot of films or TV. I know she is in the cult favorite "Children's Hospital," but she is really impressive here, in all aspects: writing, directing and acting. Funny as hell and so strong and on point. The film is constantly funny without being dopey or stupid. Good humor is good humor and Bell has an eye and ear for it. I love how throughout the whole film she really states, without being overtly pushy, how sexist this industry is. Her father, at one point where he finds out that Carol is up for a huge blockbuster gig, gets so upset that he goes out of his reluctant retirement and attempts to beat her out. Her father is a legend and is getting a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Trailer Awards. Gustav gets so offended and befuddled when he finds out she is up for the films too that he feels he should be the obvious choice. It is just a great point she makes about the perverse sexism in the voice-over world, and still as a whole in our society, that still is evident and terribly lives on. A world that needs someone to take over and dominate, especially a woman with the talent of Carol Solomon.
    The cast is great in this film. Lake Bell is really funny and plays Carol as an honest woman with  truthful observations and convictions. Beautiful and real. She is something else and someone to watch out for. Not only is Ken Marino fantastic at playing a cocky, arrogant bastard, but Fred Melamed steals the show. He has the over powering, graspy voice to begin with, but he is funny as hell throughout. The chemistry between Bell and Martin is wonderful also and was very believable about two young people, in their thirties, with a flirtatious crush on each other. Full of neuroses and hilarious situations. The two are dynamite. High praise for Rob Corddry who plays Moe. He is the husband of Carol's sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and shows great depth and range. He is very troubled when he believes his wife has slept with another man. Watkins is wonderful as well, but I wish Corddry would get more roles like this to really showcase what a wonderful actor he is.
     In A World... is a very good comedy, with some wonderful social commentary mixed in with that sublime humor. I really loved when Carol commented on the "baby doll" voice some girls use way too much. Great stuff and very concise. This film is something that has a little bit of everything and contains some wonderful performances, but it is all about Lake Bell. A wonderful talent on the page, behind the camera and in front. This is a great little film and worth any one's time. I really want to see what she comes up with next and what a voice.

Photo credit by IMDB.

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