Actress Lake Bell makes her feature writing and directing debut with this funny ensemble piece set within and around the world of voice-over artists. Carol Solomon (Bell herself) is a cash-strapped freelance vocal coach who toils in the shadow of her father (Fred Melamed), stage name Sam Sotto, a trailer voice-over king. As Sotto grooms a male heir of sorts (Ken Marino), Carol starts landing some trailer gigs of her own, becoming a threat to both men as the potential voice for Hollywood’s next huge franchise.
Thanks to a large supporting cast and array of subplots, including one involving the serious marital strain between Carol’s sister and her husband, the film feels scattershot. The saving grace, though, is the loving craft put into the character work, both in the sharp, preach-free writing and the warmth and colour injected into every performance; Bell’s the standout in her own film but there’s great work here from reliable comedic talent, particularly Melamed. The cumulative effect is that In a World... is thankfully more endearing hangout movie than erratic sitcom, and it shows significant promise for future endeavours from its helmer.