Seeking out the

5000 greatest films

in a century of cinema

In a World...

Directed by Lake Bell
Produced by Lake Bell, Mark Roberts, Jett Steiger, and Eddie Vaisman
Written by Lake Bell
With: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Eva Longoria, Ken Marino, Demetri Martin, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Michaela Watkins, and Geena Davis
Cinematography: Seamus Tierney
Editing: Tom McArdle
Music: Ryan Miller
Runtime: 93 min
Release Date: 13 September 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Color: Color
Lake Bell, who has played many supporting roles in films like It’s Complicated and No Strings Attached and TV shows like The Practice and Boston Legal, graduates to writer/director/star in In a World... a charming, if slight, comedy about women in Hollywood. Bell plays a voice-over artist trying to break through the glass ceiling (or glass floor) of the movie trailer industry.  In creating a story about a woman who uses her voice to give voice to women, she has found a sharp and clever conceit, but both the premise and the message of this film feel about ten years too late.

Of course, this tardiness is a result of Hollywood itself being so slow to change its crushingly male-dominated culture. Still, I wish the female-empowerment politics of this indie had been more hard-hitting. I’m sure Bell wants to win over as large an audience as possible and showcase her talent without alienating viewers, but the film comes off too safe and careful to qualify as either sharp social commentary or a really funny screwball comedy. The script has too many underdeveloped plot threads and it becomes disappointingly soft in the third act.

Still, I found a great deal to enjoy in this picture and I think Bell is a dynamic and engaging lead, more than capable of carrying a movie. She also surrounds herself with a solid and entertaining cast, especially Fred Melamed as her insensitive, chauvinistic father. While I found this movie too soft, I’m excited to see what Bell comes up with next; she has the makings of a great triple-threat filmmaker.