LA Film Fest 2013
By Don Simpson | June 20, 2013
Director: Lake Bell
Writer: Lake Bell
Starring: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry, Alexandra Holden, Nick Offerman, Geena Davis, Stephanie Allynne
In a world where men — such as Carol’s father, Sam (Fred Melamed) — are worshipped for their booming bass voices that accompany the trailers for Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, Carol (Lake Bell) works as a lowly speech and accent coach for actors. Luckily for Carol, a new wave of female-centric blockbusters has begun, thus opening the possibility for Hollywood’s first female voiceover artist.
Writer-director Lake Bell’s In a World reveals the chauvinistic and incestuous tendencies of Hollywood, showcasing just how ridiculous it is to have the same male voices attached to every movie trailer. She might not be any better than her male counterparts, but Carol is incredibly unique because she is a woman. Now that Hollywood action films have finally opened their arms to female heroes, it only makes sense that they retain that strong female voice in the trailers to those films. It seems logical, but not necessarily in a man’s world.
In a World also speaks directly about the female voice as Carol works with women to correct the way in which they speak. Often, women are judged by the sound of their voice. If a woman speaks in a high-pitched Valley Girl tone with a lot of filler sounds, she is typically not taken seriously by men. Even Carol conforms as much as possible to the voiceover industry standard by lowering the frequency of her own voice whenever she is on mic. In other words, to break into a man’s world, you must play by their rules and abide by their standards with the hope of eventually making changes from the inside.
Female writer-directors are unfortunately a rare breed in Hollywood, so we need women like Lake Bell to bring their voices to the forefront. As In a World suggests, this is not an easy proposition. It is one met with ridiculous resistance from the old guard of Hollywood. In the end, the decision will have to be made by fans. If films with powerful women sell tickets at the box office and do well in home video sales, then Hollywood will have no choice. In a World is a worthy crossover comedy that seems independent but has enough star power to hold its own in the box office.