In A World (Lake Bell) - DVD Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
LAKE Bell emerges as a filmmaker of genuine appeal with her quirky but fun directorial debut, In A World.
Clearly not one to rest on her laurels, she also wrote the script and takes the lead role in the film, which follows a vocal coach named Carol who suddenly gets a shot at the big time world of voicing movie trailers.
The only trouble is, the opportunity places her at odds with her egotistical father (Fred Melamed), as well as his protege Gustav (Ken Marino), while simultaneously delivering a shot at romance with the sound engineer (Demetri Martin) who has long had a crush on her.
The film’s story also extends to Carol’s sister, Dani (Michaela Watkins), whose own, much more ordered life threatens to unravel with her partner (Rob Corddry) when a temptation comes her way.
Bell’s film wears its indie credentials on it’s sleeve but remains likeable throughout thanks to the winning central characters who are worthy of hanging out with.
Bell herself is often deliciously awkward, existing in her father’s shadow yet slowly gaining the confidence to strike out on her own, while Watkins, as her amiable sister, Corddry, amusing as ever yet putting in some note-worthy dramatic work, and Martin, lovably shy yet yearning, also make their mark – as does Nick Offerman as another of Carol’s colleagues.
The film’s knowingly quirky elements may play a little too leftfield for some, while the numerous industry in-jokes may fall flat on the more casual film fan. But Bell clearly knows her stuff and makes some interesting observations on the state of the industry while keeping her tongue firmly in cheek. She even throws in a couple of neat cameos, while maintaining a nice pace that ensures the film doesn’t outlive its welcome.
A heartfelt and nicely realised finale further ensures you depart In A World with a suitably warm glow. For Bell, this has to rate as a success on all fronts.
Running time: 89mins
UK DVD Release: January 20, 2014