Friday, August 29, 2014

In a World... Review

In a a charming and easy to enjoy indie comedy from writer/director Lake Bell, who also happens to play the lead in the film. I am very impressed with her on all levels here, as the script is clever and mostly compelling, the direction is never flashy but skilled enough to allow the material to shine, and she wrote a strong, likeable lead character that was perfectly suited for her own performance abilities.

The concept of the film is original and interesting enough, and the fact that it is at least in part based on reality helped me connect with it in a more genuine fashion. Don LaFontaine was THE voice over guy, not in this fictional world crafted by Bell but in reality, and the plot of this film revolves around that industry and how different voices would compete to fill the rather large shoes of LaFontaine after he passed away, the man who was known for starting off a film trailer with the phrase "In a world...".

What I liked most about this film also brings up one of my only real gripes with the work ironically, and that is the main theme in play here which is the idea of a woman trying to break through in a profession dominated by men. The theme itself is meaningful and important, and I am sure a female audience could find themselves empowered by the central message, but I much preferred it when that message was delivered in a more subtle fashion (although it really wasn't ever that subtle). At the very end of the film, Bell flat out explains the entire point of the film for the audience, about what it means to be a strong woman and how important it is to carry yourself the right way, and I couldn't help but wonder who was watching this film and actually needed this scene to connect the dots.

Another slight issue here is the entire side story of the sister and her husband, as I am not entirely sure how this managed to be relevant in any sense to the overall point of the film. Perhaps Bell was concerned about focusing on only one character and her career aspirations throughout, but I actually found the world of the voice over and the gender issues in play to be far more interesting than a marriage on the rocks side story. A tighter more minimalist approach for such a compelling premise would have elevated this already solid work even further.


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