Movie Review: In a World…

In a World…

The iconic words of cheesy movie trailers are the core of this movie, which takes place in a world (ha!) suffering from the after effects of Don LaFontaine’s death, a real life voice over artist who became famous for the phrase which is this movie’s title. As various voice artists jockey to retake the throne (or phrase) a woman dares to compete in what has been historically a man’s game.

What I’ve written above could basically be a trailer script for the movie. Which I wrote so that you’d think I was clever and funny… (how do spell FAIL?)

I enjoyed this movie despite the fact that I actually didn’t enjoy large sections of it. Now when I say I “didn’t enjoy large sections”, what I mean is I’m a big wimp. The over all flavor of the film is an Indie-Dramedy. My spine shivers just writing those words. Dramedy. Whoever created that portmanteau should be taken out behind the chemical sheds if you know what I mean.

Anyway, what I found difficult about the film was how the ‘second core’ of the plot (the part that’s not really about trailers or voice over) is all about sneaking around and cheating. Now I’m not judging or anything but whenever people behave shamefully in movies the quarter of my ancestry that’s Japanese emerges from my genetic code and insists that I commit seppuku rather than be forced to view the character’s imminent shame. Seriously, don’t you know you’re gonna get caught?

The only upside was that I was totally sick when I watched it and the awkward drama sent my heart rate through the roof, pushing the viral fugue so far from my brain that I actually managed to write this review. No gunfight or horror movie monster could get me this tense.

In a World… (the ellipsis is apparently part of the title) is still a lot of fun to watch though, partly because it gives an interesting window into… a world (Ha!) that I both immediately understand but also have never considered. A few years ago Jerry Seinfeld made a promo for his 2002 documentary “Comedian” riffing on the titular line. Here we get a caste of interesting characters all tied into this niche industry. Lake Bell is really superb as the main character Carol Solomon, (she’s also the writer and director, so … anyway she’s great) the woman trying to make it in a man’s world (Ha. I’m gonna keep doing this). In fact rooting for her pushed me through to the film’s finale. She’s at her strongest when she’s doggedly pursuing accents to record and catalog for her collection. The people around her are equally tangible. Sometimes I harp on “Indie” movies for being just as formulaic as the big budget monsters they claim to be an alternative to but I really connected with these characters and wanted to see more of them at the end of the film, which frankly is a quality I find hard to come by. Reading about the actors after watching (another rare treat. I didn’t already recognize every face I saw. I’ll salute any screen not stuffed with Mega Stars) I was almost disappointed that Sam Soto wasn’t a real person. For some reason my enfeebled plague ridden mind hoped that they were pulling one of those fun tricks where the actors play themselves.

There is the obligatory Hollywood party scene. It reminded me of Curb Your Enthusiasm (another show that, at times, makes me want to seppuku myself), as it dramatized the Ins-and-Outs of The Biz. Actors and their accompanying self absorption, in real life, usually make my skin crawl. Do these parties actually happen like this? How do these people not hate themselves?

But just as I started to wonder about the mental health of celebrities the story curved back to the grounded and interesting Carol Solomon and her quest to dominate what’s typically been ‘male only’ voice over work. Even the trailer script she reads champions a world (last time swear!) in which men no longer rule. It’s a good watch.

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