Monday, April 21, 2014

In a World... B+

There's a daughter who's an aspiring voice-over artist, her father who's a legendary voice over artist, his male protege who's competing for a big movie trailer job with the daughter, the daughter's sister who's cheating on her amiable but bland husband, and a sound engineer who awkwardly goes about trying to tell the daughter he likes her. This is what In a World..., the directorial debut of Lake Bell, has going on, which is a lot considering that all of these characters are shown to be fairly complex and that there's lots and lots of jokes, and that the movie's only 90 minutes. Bell surprisingly makes all of the relationships pretty compelling while maintaining a snappy style that never loses its sense of screwball pacing. In lesser hands, this movie could have gotten very grating-it's a common issue with energetic and aggressively busy comedies-but Bell really has a handle on this material and how to make it work. There are some problems, such as the way Bell seems to love awkward social situations but has her actors play them out in unconvincing ways, but as a whole I loved her effort. It's a wild, bustling comedy that never takes itself too seriously in spite of its pretty serious themes-in short a complete-and welcome-throwback to the 1940s. 

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