‘In A World,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


“In A World” announces the arrival of a new triple-threat talent: Lake Bell, already established as an actress. She wrote and directed (and produced) this new film, which was a delight at Sundance and arrives in the dog days of summer like a cool breeze.

Bell plays Carol, who’s barely getting by as a vocal coach working with actors on their accents (there’s a wonderful sequence with her trying to teach a Cockney accent to Eva Longoria, who is very funny, and a good sport to boot). Her father, Sam (Fred Melamed), is a legend in the world of voice-over artists; a combination of a huge baby and a giant egotist, he’s just retired and written a memoir, as well as taken up with a blonde who is Carol’s age.

He’s also extremely discouraging of Carol’s real ambition: to follow in his footsteps. Aside from taking it as a threat to his ego, he’s also a passive-aggressive sexist, who keeps telling her that the industry simply isn’t interested in women doing voice-over. But she’s determined, encouraged by her producer pal, Louis (Demetri Martin), who obviously has a thing for her – though Carol hasn’t noticed.

But the game changes when Carol starts booking work thanks to Louis – and then becomes a real player in the contest to revive the most famous voice-over advertising phrase of all time: “In a world…”, made famous by the late Don LaFontaine. A new film wants to use the phrase and is looking for just the right voice. It’s a juicy chance, coveted by the current voice-over king, Gustav (Ken Marino), and even by Sam, who is willing to come out of retirement to be the new “In a world” guy.

This review continues on my website.

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