Great sound has always been the most important part in creating a phenomenal film. If a film has horrible sound, the quality is diminished and the audience’s investment in the story is lost. With horrible sound, not only does the film lessen in quality, but the audience’s investment in the story is lost. “In a World…” takes this idea to another level, focusing on the voice as the most integral part of the film. This is made clear right off the bat when Louis (Demetri Martin) from Sound Mix-A-Lot calls vocal coach Carol Solomon (Lake Bell) in dire need of her assistance. Eva Longoria is playing a “cockney mob wife,” and sounds like a “retarded pirate.” With a destined longing to do voice-over work for film trailers, Carol, in her best Don LaFontaine voice declares, “This Wednesday, one woman will teach another woman to sound a little less retarded.”
This sets the stage for Lake Bell’s directorial debut. The film surrounds the famous line, “In a world…” made popular by the renowned voice actor Don Lafontaine. Word has gotten out that the, “quadrilogy,” “The Amazon Games” is bringing back this famous line in their new trailer and is looking for the perfect voice to do so. Carol auditions for the part, putting her in competition against her father, Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed) who is receiving a lifetime achievement award for his voice over work, and Gustav Warner (Ken Marino), a pompous voice actor.. It is at the Golden Trailer Awards (where Sam receives his award), that the voice for “The Amazon Games” is revealed.
It is during the time leading up to the awards, that a complex family structure is revealed. This quirky film is more of a dark comedy as intimate secrets are unveiled. Carol and her sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) have a strained relationship with their self-absorbed father, who is dating a blonde Midwestern bimbo the same age as Carol, and Dani struggles in her marriage with her husband Moe (Rob Corddry). These tensions within the family are obviously mended, as the film is in some ways predictable, but with this comes the creative comedy that makes “In a World… “ so entertaining.
This comedy rightfully deserves four out of five stars in my book. Good comedies are hard to come by these days and “In a World…” is definitely not like the dimwitted comedies that we have become so familiar with. Its indie eccentricities are delightful, from the set design to the script, which has a perfect ratio of witty quips, vulgarity, and bittersweet moments. Overall, “In a World…” is a great weekend watch and is a perfect getaway from the week’s stressors.