In a World … is a comedy family drama about a woman who would like recognition from her father about how well she can read outloud. The Film was Written, Directed and Stars Lake Bell which is an illustrious trifecta. Time will tell if she is the next Woody Allen or the next Ed Wood. Right now, she’s a Zach Braff which still isn’t so bad.
The critical reviews fall in the “worthy effort” range and the film had a very limited distribution pulling in a respectable 3 million against a nah nah were not telling budget.
TL;DR version: I enjoyed this film, though for a film that came in at a trim 90 minutes it was still too long due to an unnecessary plotline.
Lake Bell is daughter to movie trailer voiceover legend Frank Melamid and would love to follow in her fathers footsteps but is thwarted at every turn by her pesky uterus. Instead she is an apparently successful voice coach teaching actors accents. The voice track for a “Hunger Games” stand-in is being recorded at the same studio in which she works and she is tapped to do a proof of concept read which kicks off our plot.
Tradition is the true antagonist of this movie as even in reality as trailer voiceover actors are all men. So it is not unnatural for Frank Melamid to treat Ken Marino’s character as his spiritual successor and son stand-in rather than Lake Bell as the thought isn’t even in his mind that she could follow in his footsteps.
So when Lake Bell does the read; gets buzz for it and eventually is tapped for the job a sort of dissonance drives Frank to not only downplay Lakes dreams but also encourage her to drop her bid in favor of Ken. Ken as the up and coming golden boy has an arrogance that comes natural to his status in this elitist sub-culture. The announcement of Lake getting this gig really throws his ego into a spin but while an asshole he is not the true villain.
Eventually Frank distances himself from Ken and embraces at least his daughters success, if not the change to the status-quo in his industry.
There are also 3’ish sub-plots in this movie, one of which is the aforementioned dead weight.
At the start of our movie Lake is living with her father; this lasts until her father reveals that he wants her to move out so that his new and almost Lake’s age girlfriend can move in. This plot point is important as it is necessary to force Lake to be her own person out from her fathers shadow and this plays in later both to her success in the Voice Over gig and in the girlfriend pushing Frank to support her. This one gets 3/5 on the shenanigans scale of worth watching.
The second subplot Demetri Martin, a sound editor at Lake Bell’s studio, has a bit of a crush on our protagonist and exhibits these feelings in such a pathetic way that it’s hard to root for him. The thing is that their interactions are probably more realistic than what we are used to from a hollywood interpretation and yet since it deviates from the norm with his insecure awkwardness towards his love interest who is also sort of shy and definitely socially awkward the thread comes off both pathetic and endearing at the same time. You only get 2/5 shenanigans.
And finally the sub-plot that I did not enjoy. Lake has a sister played by Michaela Watkins. Michaela is married to a stay at home Rob Corddry, playing a very not Rob Coddry’ish good guy, but gets a wandering ear towards a guest at the hotel for which she is … um… Concierge? Guest Services? Hobo in the lobby? She has the tiniest of flings with a guest; the heavy flirting, just-the-tip, girls you understand kind; which blows up… well, more passive aggressively escalates, into her husband getting a mite peeved. It’s ok though, by the end he forgives her and woos her back with some candlelight and hugs.
First off this seems like more of a wish fulfillment scenario than 1) Winning your father’s acceptance, 2) Establishing yourself as a legitimate in your chosen career or 3) Being the subject of a wanted workplace crush. Secondly this thread doesn’t grow Lake in any way. It mostly shows that Rob Corddry is a wonderful and understanding husband. The whole thing could be lost without changing Lakes story one bit. You get no Shenanigans sir. I said good day!
So that is In a world. You should definitely watch it on Netflix.