Film review | In a World… Lake Bell’s sharp, smart voiceover comedy is a ringing success

In A World - Lake Bell as Carol Solomon

In a world… where the trailers for Hollywood blockbusters are only ever voiced by men who sound as though they gargle with gravel and molasses, a vocal coach from a comically dysfunctional family gets to challenge the status quo in writer-director-star Lake Bell’s sharp, smart and genuinely funny comedy.

With a nod to the late, great Don LaFontaine, the legendary voice actor who made the eponymous three words his own, Bell has come up with a rare low-budget gem, cleverly weaving together a winningly laid-back romantic-comedy plot and a spot-on satire of the movie-trailer business, shot through with some shrewd feminism.

She makes an appealing lead, too. Her character, Carol Solomon, is struggling to emerge from the shadow of her selfish, overbearing voiceover-veteran father (Fred Melamed) when a plum job comes up: voicing upcoming blockbuster quadrilogy, The Amazon Games. With an all-male line-up of top talents vying for the spot, Carol finds encouragement from shy sound engineer Louis (comedian Demetri Martin playing Bell’s diffident love interest) to go for the gig herself.

Bell throws in some other plot strands, including the marital woes of her hotel concierge sister (Michaela Watkins) and brother-in-law (Rob Corddry), and finds room for cameos by Eva Longoria and Geena Davis, and a spiky feminist put-down of the ‘sexy-baby vocal virus’ that holds so many women back. Not Bell, clearly, as she’s proved with this ringing success.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 93 mins. Director Lake Bell.

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