Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"In a World": Intra-family battle in the world of trailer voice-overs

In a World …” has attracted attention as a dramedy exploring the world of voice-over in movie trailers and commercials.  It’s directed and written by its female lead, Lake Bell, playing Carol, who seeks to enter the male-dominated world and is confronted with a (properly urgent from a screenwriting perspective) crisis when her father Sam (Fred Melamed) kicks her out of the LA house so that he can live with a 30-year-old girl friend Jamie (Alexandra Holden), while Carol goes to live with sister Dani (Michaela Watkins) already married to an older man Moe (Rob Corddry). 
  
The “object” of the movie is the audition for and making of a trailer for a Tarzan-like “The Amazon Games”, an obvious reference to Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” series.  Sam is stepping down so that a younger friend, Gustaf Warner (Ken Marino) can step in. Gustaf is somewhat of a playboy who has inherited a fortune and can do whatever he wants, including spend money on female attendants when he bathes.  But he seems a bit of a caricature, with his high-pitched voice and ultra smooth body, as contrasted with Sam, especially in a Turkish bath scene where Sam looks like an absolute ape.  (Who wants gray hair all over the tops of his shoulders?  Maybe there really is a use for No-No. ) 
   
Carol befriends her sound booth man, Louis (Demetri Martin). They gradually move toward intimacy, each testing one another.  The actor Martin is listed as age 40 in imdb, but in the movie, partly because of his lean appearance, he looks more like 28.  (Yes, thin men look younger, like Gabriel Mann on “Revenge”).  He is fairly articulate, and maybe the most appealing male character in the movie.
  
The film picks up momentum and humor in the second half, and the plot threads in the writing seem to come together. 
  
I saw it at the AMC Shirlington (only a few people on a discount Tuesday night), and curiously, there were no previews.  I don’t know what the future of the theater is, as it is in an old building in an area undergoing extensive real estate development.  There are posters going into November.  Maybe we could have a new indie complex in a new building, maybe connected to the nearby Signature Theater (stage). 
  

The film won the Sundance award for best screenplay.  It is distributed by Roadside Attractions, without Lionsgate.  The official site is here..   

The film licensed a lot of songs, like the familiar "I want to rule the world" during the end credits. 
    
The film could be compared to “20 Feet from Stardom” (July 3).  (Note: slight misspelling inside this blog posting url because of initial typo.) 

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