In a World…
Carol Solomon is a struggling thirtysomething trying to eke out a living as vocal coach in Los Angeles. She’s always lived in the shadow of her father Sam Soto (Fred Melamed). He has been a leader in the world of voice-over work for movie trailers. Then one day she decides to make a play for the male dominated universe of her dad.
Quirky romantic comedy concerns people who make a living doing voice-over narration. The title refers to a phrase that real life legend of the field Don LaFontaine, used to start many movie ads. Writer Lake Bell gets originality points for mining an interesting occupation and examining the female component. Subtract points however for a somewhat disjointed tale that loses focus along the way. Bell even throws in a romantic subplot that isn’t particularly involving. Shy nerd Louis (Demetri Martin) is crushing on her hard. Carol becomes one of those clichéd woman-child personalities that we’ve seen male comedians do 100 times before. Their dialogue is entirely stammering nervous banter. It’s obvious to everyone but themselves that they like each other. Just kiss already! There’s also her sister (Michaela Watkins) and her sister’s husband (Rob Corddry) who are experiencing marital woes. Their story forms a pretty sizeable chunk of the plot. It really has nothing to do with the main issue at hand. Furthermore, the problem is introduced then solved without much fanfare. Guess they needed to pad out the already short running time.
There’s an utter novelty to the subject that In a World… explores. As star, writer, director, and producer, Lake Bell is clearly talented. She he has a knack for clever situations that will serve her burgeoning writing career. There are some nice scenarios scattered throughout with a host of amusing people. Bell has an ease for creating a character piece. A bit where she helps Eva Longoria with her Cockney accent was rather humorous. As a champion for female empowerment, the narrative is mostly effective. Given the point of view, you want to love this film. However a late development delivered by Geena Davis in the last act, undermines her accomplishments. It renders her triumphs meaningless and leaves a bad taste. Despite that questionable denouement, the chronicle has some enjoyable vignettes. Bell’s facility with familial relations is raw and honest. Her father’s loyalties are surprisingly unexpected for example. In a World… is a slow climb up the ladder of success with more good elements than bad.