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|In a World...|
dir-scr Lake Bell
prd Lake Bell, Mark Roberts, Jett Steiger, Eddie Vaisman
with Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Ken Marino, Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Nick Offerman, Stephanie Allynne, Tig Notaro, Jason O'Mara, Geena Davis
release US 9.Aug.13, UK 13.Sep.13
Voice of an angel: Bell
SUNDANCE FILM FEST
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
This painfully hilarious script playfully explores a little-known aspect of the movie business while touching on serious issues about competition between genders and generations. It also places the actress Bell on a list of writer-directors to watch.
Carol (Bell) is a vocal coach living in the shadow of her famous voiceover-artist dad Sam (Melamed), who spent much of his career as second-fiddle to the iconic "in a world" guy, the late Don LaFountaine. But with a new epic quadrilogy in the pipeline, a studio wants to revive the "in a world" trailer. Sam decides to let his protege, swaggering womaniser Gustav (Marino), have the job, but the producers secretly discover that Carol might have an even better voice. Which is unthinkable, since women never voice trailers.
Several side stories add an almost farcical tone to the plot, although Bell keeps the film grounded, accurately reflecting the multitude of issues that fill our lives at any given time. Carol is distracted by marital problems between her sister and brother-in-law (Watkins and Corddry), a sound engineer (Martin) has a crush on her, and Sam is about to get a life-achievement honour at the Golden Trailer Awards, just as he decides to shack up with his bimbo girlfriend (Holden), who's younger than Carol.
All of this makes the film a riot of verbal and visual gags that keep us laughing helplessly, guaranteeing that we'll want to revisit it to catch the jokes we missed. Every relationship is an amusingly spiky maze of touchy subjects and old baggage, not only giving us an insider's look at the movie business but also depicting people we could watch for hours. And there are hilarious cameos from Bell's friends Cameron Diaz and Eva Longoria.
Yes, it's great to see this collection of actors play such lively, well-developed characters, with the terrific Bell at the centre as Carol almost accidentally plots a path though the minefield. With such an astute screenplay, Bell proves that there's no reason to sacrifice depth for gut-wrenchingly funny comedy. Unlike most Hollywood scripts, this film never shies away from anything, finding jagged humour in every encounter. And Bell is also unafraid to dip into some serious dramatic moments, which her cast of ace comedians play to perfection. Simply unmissable.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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