A film which focuses on the misogyny in Hollywood, within the voice over industry. Well, until it decides to be a romantic comedy.
Review (with Spoilers)
I don’t know about you, but I can’t really think of the last time I saw a movie trailer which had a voiceover. Be it because, I don’t think too much about the person behind the voice of movie trailers, commercials, and even animated productions to a point, it just never seemed like a topic of interest. But, in In a World…, there is a reminder that while sexism, and misogyny, are still a major topic when it comes to the lack of roles for fleshed out female characters, as well as women working behind the scenes, there is also another area which has been a boy’s club which seemingly isn’t too open to change.
Characters & Story
First off, I should probably note this is not a documentary so while surely there is sexism in the voice over industry, this is a fictional tale about said sexism, and I don’t think it is speaking for one person’s story. Anyway, with that disclaimer put out there, the story is about a girl named Carol (played by Lake Bell) who is the daughter to a man named Sam Soto (played by Fred Melamed) who is a big time voice over actor who has competed with the legendary Don LaFontaine, the man who coined the whole “In a World…” prologue, according to the movie. But, with Don now dead, and there being a push to revive his coined phase, a battle commences.
Thus leading us on a journey in which the awkward, and sort of quirky, Carol, a voice coach who occasionally gets voice acting jobs, finds herself competing with her legendary father, and this up and coming guy named Gustav Warner (played by Ken Marino). But, during her journey to be one of the first, or few, big time female voice overs, there is also romance, drama and a battle against misogyny.
One thing you have to note about this movie is the concept of a female voice over, outside of animated films and spokespeople like Flo for Progressive, is something you don’t really think about. And with that, there is a certain amount of intrigue because it makes you feel ignorant on the issue. But, as will be noted below, as much as the sexism of Hollywood is put as a glazing onto the film, it isn’t the focus. If anything, the film feels very light and breezy, and though it has misogyny and other issues sprinkled about, it contains a nice cute little romantic subplot and a few good jokes to keep you entertained.
Which is sort of my issue with the film. For though I had no issue with the quirky romance, and the cameos from Eva Longoria and Cameron Diaz, I do feel like the premise and the whole idea that there is, in reality, a real lack of female voice overs should have been a stronger focal point. Also, the tone of the film is very much like a romantic comedy and, to me, the romantic subplots of Carol, and her sister Dani (played by Michaela Watkins) I think got more of Writer/ Director/ and Star Lake Bell’s attention, more than what helps this film stand out. And don’t get me wrong, the romantic subplots are alright, but I think they take away so much from what, at first, seems like the focus, which is the lack of women in voice acting, and the fight for one girl to become a big name in the industry.
Overall: TV Viewing
In all honesty, while not a bad film at all, it is a bit disappointing. So, because of that, at most I can say this is worth TV viewing, assuming a station ever picks this up. And, again, the reason is because despite it having, as part of the plot, a real serious issue, it treats it more so as a means to get you interested, than as something it really wants to explore, expose, or even create a good story around. But hey, at least in some way Lake Bell and co. shined a light on the issue.