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In a World

In a World

What She said:

She

You may not realize it, but movie trailers are kind of a big deal.  I mean, if a studio creates a good one, then it can help make a film a hit.  But, more importantly, if they create a bad one, then it can result in very few butts in the seats.  For me, it’s not so much the good trailers that stand out as it is the bad ones—think I, Frankenstein.  That movie seemed pretty bad on paper, but then the trailer made it look even worse.  So yeah, movie trailers are big biz.

In a World… is a 2013 indie film directed, written, co-produced, and starring Lake Bell that is all about those who make a living doing voice-over work for movie trailers.  Honestly, I’m not sure how factually accurate the film is when it comes to the depiction of the industry, but I would not be surprised if the world of trailer voice-work is actually this catty, competitive, and self-absorbed.  It’s all about egos and reputations, as the person who is in fad is the one who makes all the money while the others scrape to get by financially.

The film centers around Carol Solomon, daughter to the current king of voice-overs Sam Soto.  Carol is trying her best to follow in her father’s footsteps, but as a woman she’s not in high demand.  In the meantime, she’s been making pocket change by working as a voice coach.  But it’s not enough to get by on and she’s forced to live with her self-centered daddy.  The elder Soto decides it’s time to take things to the next level with his very young girlfriend, and so that means that he must kick Carol to the curb.  She’s then forced to sink even lower and sleep on the couch of her sister Dani and her husband Moe.

Carol’s life seems to be near rock-bottom when she gets a lucky break.  She records a temp track from rising star Gustav Warner when he comes down with laryngitis and fails to show for a job.  The studio ends up loving Carol’s track so much that they decide to use it.  This opens new doors for her, but also means that she immediately stirs controversy within the voice-over community.  Carol is approached about dubbing the track for the upcoming big money quadrology The Amazon Games.  This is a very coveted job, as the script calls for bringing back the opening line made famous by now deceased hall of famer Don LaFontaine, “In a world…”  The heavy hitters in the industry have been clamoring over the job for this reason, and so once it’s revealed that Carol is even in consideration, heads start to roll.  Gustav is at Carol’s throat, and Carol’s own father, Sam, begins treating her terribly.  Carol must try to balance a budding career, her faltering love life, and issues with family that all culminate to become more than any one person can handle.

In a World

In a World… is interesting, cute, and funny.  Is it groundbreaking in any way?  No.  But it was entertaining and meaningful.  Carol is likeable, because she’s not a full blown screw-up.  She’s just trying to make it in a man’s world.  And it’s nice to know that she’s starting to have an impact.  The chick side of me also enjoyed the budding romance with studio engineer Louis.  They’re kind of cute and innocent together. 

This film has a few fun cameos from a couple of big name actresses.  But it doesn’t rely on star power to get by.  It’s more about creating emotionally deep characters that are interesting, and getting the viewer behind our protagonist.  In a World… is successful at doing both.   You’ll grow to dislike Sam Soto (Fred Melamed) for being such an uncaring jerk to his own daughter.  You’ll also want to punch Gustav Warner (Ken Marino) in his cheesy face.  And you’ll genuinely feel for Dani (Michaela Watkins) and Moe (Rob Coddry) as they confront their marital issues head-on. 

With strong characters and an interesting plot, In a World… is a solid film that is worth watching.  Chicks will probably like the sense of empowerment that the movie offers.  Carol is making the world better for women one lady at a time.

Thumbs up.

In a World

 

What he said:

He

You’ve heard Don LaFontaine’s voice more times than you can count, but might not know who he was. The instant you hear his voice though, you know exactly who he is. His legendary voice has introduced us all to thousands of movie trailers throughout or life.

In a World focuses on people who make a living – and some who are attempting to – with their voice. It centers on a woman named Carol (Lake Bell). Carol is the voice of Sam Soto (Fred Melamed). He was the number two voice actor in Hollywood, but became king of the mountain when industry legend Don Lafontaine died. Carol has been unable to find success doing movie trailers – apparently the industry is an old boys club – and does voice coaching to pay the bills. It isn’t terribly lucrative and she is living with her father as a result.
That is until Sam decides that his 30-year old girlfriend (played by Alexandra Holden) is moving in with him. This means Carol is getting the old heave ho. She takes refuge with her sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her husband Moe (Rob Coddry). Both Dani and Carol are a little upset about their father moving in with his girlfriend. Dani and Moe are going to have some domestic issue of their own too, so no matter where Carol goes, she’s caught up in some kind of family drama.

In a World

Meanwhile, her professional life has gotten a much-needed kick in the pants. She unexpectedly lands a few big gigs. This causes friction with her father and his protégé, Gustav Warner (Ken Marino). If you thought her dad was an ass, wait until you meet this guy. The two of them have such huge egos that I’m surprised Sam has taken Gustav under his wing. It’s a minor miracle these two can be in the room at the same time. I guess their egos and generally obnoxious ways are something of a bonding opportunity between them rather than a sticking point.

The movie is about Carol and her struggle to make it in a man’s world, but the subplot of the issues between her sister and her husband fit really well. It had absolutely nothing to do with her goals or growth as a character, but felt very natural. It didn’t feel forced or crammed in at all. It felt like one of those situations where you’ve got something going on in your life – and it is without a doubt the issue in your life right now – but the rest of your life doesn’t stop because of it and you might have some smaller stuff happening at the same time.

I thought this was a quirky, funny, and all-around entertaining little comedy. Close to the end of the movie I realized that I was smiling throughout most of the movie. It had a few laugh out loud moments, but even when I wasn’t laughing, I was enjoying myself. It was an amusing lmovie. It had just enough drama to make it interesting too. Focusing on voice actors was an interesting choice too. It’s not something most people would have thought of, but was a great choice for something different and refreshing. This is a solid little movie. Kudos to Lake Bell for wearing three different hats, as writer, director, and main star of the movie.  The supporting cast were all great too. You really liked the people you were supposed to like (her sister and brother-in-law) and really disliked the people you were supposed to dislike (her father and his protégé). Good casting and acting in this movie.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on February 6, 2014.

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