Sundance London Review: In a World

In a WorldDirected by Lake Bell
Starring Lake Bell, Fred Melamed and Ken Marino

Does anyone else think that Lake Bell is an annoying and less talented version of Amanda Peet? Bell writes, directs and stars in this “quirky indie comedy” about trailer voice over artists. Carol (Bell) is the daughter of a popular voice over artist (Melamed) who berates his daughter by telling her that she does not have the talent to be a voice over artist as the world isn’t looking for a female voice. She is then forced to move out from his house and live with her sister (Michaela Watkins) but things perk up when she books a job and suddenly becomes the hottest voice in town but in an industry dominated by men, will she ever belong?

The quirkiness comes from the oddball character played by Bell who couldn’t be less endearing if she tried and from the evidence we see on screen, she’s not trying at all. The character has no personality, she is just a big ball of quirky silliness and when she finally meets her true love (Demetri Martin), he’s exactly the same and it’s horrifically annoying to watch these two court each other in there oh so cutesy but dorky way. It’s sort of like Zooey Deschanel’s character on New Girl without the character development… so exactly like Zooey Deschanel’s character on New Girl.

It’s interesting plot focus is squandered on a very pedestrian plot which crowbars in themes of fidelity and female empowerment so clumsily it feels as though everything was thrown together at the last minute. There is an entire subplot about Michaela Watkins character cheating on her husband (Rob Corddry), him leaving her and then the two get back together in about 10 minutes, no problem. It’s underwritten and unoriginal story threads like this that make In a World fall flat on it’s own arse.

Outside of a few funny voices Bell does and a Eva Longoria cameo, the film fails to raise many laughs, at many times I just shut my eyes and hoped for the movie to be over. It seems like the movie might have worked as a stand up act as there are issues and themes that Bell is clearly interested in, unfortunately she can’t find an interesting way to translate that to the screen.


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