In a World...

Directed By: Lake Bell

Starring: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman, and Tig Notaro

As one who frequents the movies on a regular basis, I'm one who's seen one too many trailers.  For each movie I go see, there are fifteen to twenty minutes worth of leading advertisements for other films.  If they're good trailers, I'm typically fine.  If they're bad, however, they're just an annoying pit stop on the way to my movie.  As many trailers as I've seen, there's one thing about which I've never really thought — the voice-overs.  After Lake Bell's In a World..., this will certainly change.  I will be thinking a whole lot more about the voices behind these trailers. 

Don LaFontaine, the king of voice-overs, has just passed away.  In the aftermath of his death, there's a gaping hole in the voice-over industry, and the four or five other major voice actors in the industry are jockeying for the legend's position.  A major Hollywood studio is making an epic action quadrilogy called The Amazon Games, and their looking for a voice actor to narrate the trailer.  For this trailer, the studio would like to revive the three little words "In a world...", words made famous by LaFontaine.  Sam Soto (Fred Melamed), a legend in his own right, thinks he would be perfect for the job.  However, he steps aside so that his friend Gustav Warner (Ken Marino) can have the limelight.  After all, Sam is about to get a lifetime achievement award.  With Sam out of the picture, Gustav feels that he's got The Amazon Games quadrilogy locked down.  That won't be the case if aspiring voice actor Carol Solomon (Bell) has anything to say about it though. 

Carol is Sam's 31 year-old daughter and a part-time vocal coach.  Though her father thinks that, as a woman, she's ill-suited for the voice-over industry, Carol starts secretly getting jobs, ones for which Gustav Warner had previously signed up.  As things pick up for her, she starts doing voice-overs for children's romantic comedies and even becomes the voice of Sunny Delight.  When producers for The Amazon Games start hearing the work she's doing, they become interested in having Carol doing the voice-over for the trailers.  All of a sudden, Gustav's job is not so safe.  Meanwhile, Sam kicks Carol out of his house so that his 30 year-old girlfriend Jamie (Alexandra Holden) can move in with him.  For the time being, Carol is crashing with her sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her boyfriend Moe (Rob Corddry).

In a World... is a comedy that honors the late voice acting legend Don LaFontaine.  Having done some research on him, he was the voice of more than 5,000 movie trailers and hundreds of thousands of TV spots and commercials.  We all know his voice.  Think of trailers for movies like Terminator 2 or Batman Returns.  Think of the voice behind America's Most Wanted and Law & Order.  Think of the guy who tells kids watching WWE wrestling "Please don't try this at home".  Whether you've heard him in these or the hundreds of thousands of other things he voiced, LaFontaine had a voice with which we were all familiar.  That being said, Lake Bell's In a World… is a quirky, unique way to honor the guy who served as the voice that has inspired us to go to many, many movies over the years.

The cast certainly keeps the laughs coming in In a World... consistently.  As Carol, Lake Bell is hilarious offering lots of caustic, sarcastic remarks to anyone who gives her good reason.  Whether talking about the droids in Star Wars or mocking the high-pitched Valley girl voice that's sadly come to be emblematic of pop culture today, Bell is raw and spontaneous on screen.  She's comedic gold.  Then, there's Demetri Martin who plays Carol's love interest Louis.  Clearly a nerd on screen, Martin gives us plenty of goofy, oddball humor.  With comedic veterans Rob Corddry and Nick Offerman (who seems to be everywhere this summer), you can't go wrong either.  Both deliver plenty of amusing wisecracks.

In a World... is something truly original.  It's not every day that we watch voice actors go through their vocal exercises and summon that bass deep from within their diaphragm to say the strangest things.  This movie is refreshing and different.  It's silly and funny.  What's most impressive about it is that it was shot in 20 days.  High quality films aren't often put together that quickly.  The only movie made faster in recent memory is Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.  Lake Bell's In a World... gets a 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers with this one.