The greatest flaw of the written word when encountered by languages’ other supreme companion, the spoken word, is the absence of voice. More specifically, the power to speak in an epic manner (like that of voiceover artists in film trailers) is nonexistent on paper. Nonetheless, if you’re vocally equipped to impersonate legendary voices such as Don LaFontaine, then this review may make slightly more verbal sense.
(*Cue trailer guy voice) In a world where actress Lake Bell makes her feature-length writing/directorial debut, one woman pursues her dream of achieving success in the male-dominated profession of movie-trailer voiceover artistry.
Starting out as an amateur vocal coach, the protagonist Carol (Bell) battles prejudice, unlikely competitors and ‘sexy baby’ voices in her aspirations to be heard and eradicate squeaky vocal trends women have adopted. Even with its ambitious yet necessary purpose, In a World… is grounded by its comedic realism and vocal propriety.
In a World… is genuinely hilarious throughout. There is something peculiar about observing real world annoyances as opposed to experiencing them. Watching someone awkwardly climb in and out of the backseat of a three-door car is a lot more amusing than attempting the feat yourself. Lake Bell’s witty writing, timing and controlled comedy is astonishingly insightful due to its relatable nature, proving that a comedy does not have to be loud, obnoxious and repetitive to be outrageously funny.
In a World… explores the world of voiceover artists and the business behind it, telling tales of the lies and deceits used to get ahead. It echoes the dishonesty of voice over work itself, the artists are essentially advertisers selling a product. Bell enlightens her audience to the falseness and often harsh reality of being an undervalued artist, by conveying these motifs as modern day issues, with genius, real humour to ensure its eventual light-hearted and grounded purpose.
In a World… articulates the nonlinear path towards silencing prejudice. As Carol’s voice breaks through in an industry monopolised by males, she realises that the resolution to gender equality can perish and give way to tokenism. In a World… establishes that idealism is achievable through correcting the minor issues (‘sexy baby’ voices) before the more important feminist battle of universal fairness can be accomplished. Even with its truths of the current state of female representation and tokenistic values in the workplace, In a World… thankfully doesn’t force its values down your throat, instead allowing a clear airway for you to see how undeniably likeable, enjoyable and cool the film actually is.
In a World… is its own voice. It speaks of the power of the spoken word, of language, communication and how devastating or fantastic it all can be. It verbalises and gives recognition to a visually hidden yet audible industry. It reveals the many talents of Lake Bell and surprising range in Rob Corddry’s acting, whom we usually see in wacky, comically hyperbolic roles in movies such as Hot Tub Time Machine. In spite of all its resonance, In a World… is unlikely to be heard or appreciated by a large number due to its limited release.
(*Cue trailer guy voice) Witness one of the funniest films in years. Lake Bell has established herself as an excellent writer/director, in her creation of an effortless and pleasant film about the world of voiceover. Stop at nothing to hear, see and experience Lake Bell’s In a World…, while you still can.