DVD Review: In a World…

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Lake Bell | CAST: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Nick Offerman, Alexandra Holden, Demetri Martin
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 1/21/2014 | PRICE: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
BONUSES: commentary, gag reel, deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 93 min. | Comedy | 2.40:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Written and directed by Lake Bell (Black Rock), who is also its star, the 2013 comedy In a World…. is set in the world of voice-over artists and voice coaches, which qualifies as one of the fresher professions and disciplines to be the subject of a feature-length comedy.

In a World… movie scene

Voice-over coach Lake Bell gets her chance behind the mic in In a World…

Ms. Bell stars as Carol (Bell), an adorably quirky (as only a fetching 30ish woman can be in an indie comedy) underachieving voice coach living in the shadow of her egotistical father Sam (Fred Melamed, A Serious Man), whose rich, bassy vocals have elevated him to the top of the voice-over industry. Well, almost the top: An upcoming Hunger Games-like “quadrilogy” is on the way, and the producers want to re-launch the dramatic voiceover trailers of yesteryear—the ones that begin with a drama pronouncement of “In a world…”—and Sam badly wants the gig,. And if he can’t get it, then at the very least, maybe his arrogant protégé (Ken Marino, Wanderlust) can snag the job. Just as long as Carol doesn’t get the job, because even though she’s talented and has been picking up voiceover gigs in recent weeks, Sam doesn’t think voice-overs are any kind of a gig for a woman, let alone his daughter… But maybe with the help of a charming sound engineer Louis (Demetri Martin, Taking Woodstock), Carol can win the day.

In a World… is a fun and respectable debut feature by writer/director, who star turn as Carol is equally appealing, even if it offers the same kind of take of an adorably quirky and fetching 30ish-year-old woman that we’ve seen in a zillion indie comedies. More notable is Bell’s script, which balances the main story of Carol’s attempts to “grow up” and land a respectable job in the industry she loves, with a sub-plots involving her father’s romance with a considerably younger woman and her sister’s (Michaela Watkins, TV’s Enlightened) marriage, which takes a bumpy turn due in slight part to Carol.

Bell has also employed a bunch of recognizable faces to populate the screen and add a laugh or two, including Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies) as Carol’s joking brother-in-law and Nick Offerman (TV’s Parks and Recreation) as a sound techie with an ear for gossip.

Bonus features include a lively commentary by Bell, a collection of unspectacular deleted scenes, and a gag reel which reveals everyone had a grand old time during the production.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.