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In a World...

Movie Details

In a World...
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 2013-01-20 Sundance 2013
  • Running Time: 93 min.
  • Director: Lake Bell
  • Cast: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Nick Offerman, Geena Davis, Stephanie Allynne
  • Producers: Lake Bell, Mark Roberts, Jett Steiger, Eddie Vaisman
  • Writer: Lake Bell
  • Distributor: Roadside Attractions
  • Official Site: In a World... Official Site

In the world of In a World ..., the directing debut of preternaturally understated comic actress Lake Bell, voiceover work-- specifically the authoritative yet anonymous man-speak heard in movie trailers-- is a field in which women aren't welcome. Bell, who also wrote the script, plays Carol, an underemployed vocal coach who aspires to be a voiceover star like her callous, egomaniac father, Sam (Fred Melamed). She isn't just your garden-variety underachiever; Carol is so underachieving that, at age 31, she hasn't changed her wardrobe since the 1990s. It's one of the movie's subtle oddball touches that Bell's Carol, a tall drink of water if ever there was one, strides around unselfconsciously-- and a little cluelessly-- in overalls and college-kid babydoll dresses. But even if she's a neurotic goofball, she’s persistent. And with the help of smart but bashful sound engineer Louis (Demetri Martin), who harbors a crush on her, she scrambles to the top of the voiceover heap-- only to earn the resentment of key players in the field, most notably her nasty old dad. Bell has made a lively, modern screwball comedy with a terrible title; the dialogue moves fast and sometimes takes nutty, unexpected loops, like puppies scrambling over one another in a basket. Bell, who has so often played second or third banana (in pictures like It's Complicated and No Strings Attached), makes a strangely fetching leading woman. The romance between Carol and Louis takes forever to get cooking-- their mutual awkwardness is today's equivalent of a bundling board. But it's also part of their charm as a couple-in-training; their respective peculiarities fit together just right.

Stephanie Zacharek

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