It is clear from the beginning of In A World… that writer/director/star Lake Bell has a deep knowledge of the world her movie is set in. This is a good thing because In A World… is set in the world of voiceover artists, specifically those honey (or gravel) voiced, (mostly) men who say those lines that drive home the points that make us want to watch movies based solely on their trailers.
In that world Ms. Bell plays Carol, the daughter of a legendary voice artist Sam (Fred Melamed), and she is a bit of an underachiever. She has a great voice too but she uses her talents more as a voice coach rather than peddling her wares in the voiceover industry. It doesn’t help that her father is having an affair with a woman possibly younger than herself. Or that her living arrangement with her father is replaced with a new one with her sister Dani (Mikhaela Watkins) and her husband Moe (Rob Corddry).
Her complicated situation is further complicated when she sleeps with the man (Ken Marino) her father is grooming as his protégé.
So yeah, movie complications.
But what’s great about In A World… is that Ms. Bell exhibits a real affection for her characters. This makes them more than just your average light comedy uni-dimensional characters. Nobody is really good or bad, they are just human. And while plumbing the depths of that humanity she helps us find a way to laugh at them, and consequently, ourselves.
The father-daughter(s) relationship at the centre of this film is presented in a new light, different from the usual cliché treatment we’re used to seeing. And Ms. Bell’s performance does a great job of showcasing her range, as well as anchoring the movie.
Even the celebrity cameos by the likes of Eva Longoria and Geena Davis serve the film, rather than drawing attention to themselves as little pieces of stunt casting.
Final Analysis: This is a modern comedy that feels right. It is a very good first film and I hope Ms. Bell directs another one soon.
My Advice: Seek this one out.