Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 33 min.
Our Advisories (1-10): Violence 0; Language 3; Sex-Nudity 4.
Our star rating (1-5): 3
Honour your father and your mother,…
And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up
in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Lake Bell wrote, directed and starred in this comic tale of two sisters and their selfish father. It introduces us to the largely unknown world of Hollywood voiceover talent for movie trailers and TV commercials. Focusing mainly upon Carol (Lake Bell who also wrote and directed), it is the story of a voice coach and imitator of accents who unexpectedly wins the voiceover role for a new blockbuster fantasy series, much to the consternation of her father who had expected his protégé to gain the role.
A non-strident feminist story, it begins in 2008 with the death of real life voiceover star Don LaFontaine, whose voice was heard on at least 5000 movie trailers and commercials. He made famous the opening phrase which gives the film its name, “In a world…” (And as a clever tribute to him the film opens with a GEICO Insurance Company ad for which he provided the voiceover.) The fictional Sam Sotto (Fred Malamed), once operating in LaFontaine’s shadow, is presumed to be the new king of voiceover, but he, wanting to spend more time with his much younger lover Jamie (Alexandra Holden), decides to groom a protégé. However, it is not his daughter Carol, who longs to follow in his footsteps and barely makes a living in doing accented voiceovers, but Gustav (Ken Marino), a man whom Sam backs in obtaining the coveted voiceover role for the fantasy series. How does one honor such a father while asserting herself in such a situation?
Thus the multi-talented Lake Bell gives us a delightful film in which a woman must assert herself in still another field in order to fully exercise her gifts. It also explores a father-daughter relationship, their conflict ending in a heart-felt act of grace that will cheer your heart. And in addition to this, for lovers of romance there is Louis (Demetri Martin), a sound engineer whose lack of self-confidence makes it difficult for him to reveal his love for Carol. Funny and insightful, this little film is worth the trouble of finding it amongst all the less worthy big studio films that have eclipsed it. It also shows that the battle to improve the status of women, suggested by Jesus’ treatment of the women whom he encountered almost 2000 years ago, is still being fought.
The full review with a set of questions for reflection or discussion appears in the November issue of Visual Parables, which will be available late in October.