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In a World…

Posted by martinteller on September 10, 2013

Carol Solomon (writer/director Lake Bell) is an aspiring voiceover artist.  But it’s a male-dominated field, and one of the biggest voices dominating it is that of her father, the legendary Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed).  However, her producer/manager Louis (Demetri Martin) lands her a trailer that generates enough attention to put her in contention for a highly sought-after gig: the epic quadrilogy “Amazon Games”.  She’ll have to compete with the likes of rising star Gustav (Ken Marino)… and her own father.

I had high hopes for this movie.  I only know Bell from “Childrens Hospital”, but that’s an offbeat comedy I really enjoy.  Also present are fellow “CH” stars Marino (also from “Party Down”) and Rob Corddry, unusual standups Martin and Tig Notaro, “Parks and Recreation” cast member Nick Offernan, and Melamed from A Serious Man.  That’s a sweet pedigree of oddball comedy that appeals to my sensibilities.

So I was a bit disappointed to find this movie so… conventional.  No one’s really going out on a limb here.  There’s some sharp satire of the voiceover industry, with an appreciated feminist viewpoint, but it’s very restrained and doesn’t reach the wild comic heights of, say, Zoolander.  In the end, it’s a rather predictable romcom with characters who aren’t particularly memorable.  And the film has an uneven flow to it, cutting between a number of superfluous subplots, particularly the one involving Carol’s concierge sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her boyfriend Moe (Corddry).

Still, it’s a pleasant movie.  There are some big laughs (although in a sold-out show, there were notable gaps between them) and the cast is all good, even if not being utilized to their full potential.  Except for some of the editing choices, it doesn’t feel like there’s anything wrong with the film… it’s just that it could have and should have had more personality to it.  Bell shows more than a little promise directing her first feature.  Let’s hope that next time she takes some bigger chances.  Rating: Fair (69)


3 Responses to “In a World…”

  1. nancy said

    Oh….we really disagree on this one! What is the last romcom you liked? I cannot think back that far. I loved that the father was a total asshole, and his chirpy wife put him in his place. I love the realistic, non-romcom behavior of having sex with total dork and knowing it, or talking about “putting the tip in”. These are gals I believe might exist. And they aren’t going for Hugh Jackman type guys, but real guys. The apartments and houses looked real, and I loved the dialogue. I loved the angry baby comments and the fact that this gal didn’t get a perfect ending (dad’s still an ass, who knows where she’s living, she wasn’t the best person for the job). This really worked for me. Plus I saw this the day after I saw the Butler, which had multiple story lines that were not necessary or well edited. The multiple plots “In a World” all worked for me, and I thought Bell did a great job making each story line balanced and important. I might even buy this one!

    • Hmm… last romcom I liked… I don’t watch that many of them. I liked Silver Linings Playbook quite a bit, though.

      There are definitely things I liked about this one, I just hoped for something more offbeat from this crew.

  2. jacej said

    agree w/Nancy, completely enjoyable even though it’s a “mild” satire, plus GREAT extras on the DVD

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