Inspired by Don LaFontaine's iconic voiceovers, 'In A World...' follows the struggles of a female vocal coach as she attempts to find a footing in the male-dominated voiceover industry. Lake Bell's feature film debut as screenwriter and director sometimes struggles to find a balance between comedy and drama but largely proves to be an accomplished vehicle for Bell's talents.
Forever in the shadow of her voiceover supremo father Sam Soto (Fred Melamed), Carol Solomon (also played by Bell) unexpectedly finds herself in the running for the hottest new gig on the voiceover circuit - much to the chagrin of Gustav Warner (Ken Marino), widely expected to be the new voiceover king. His concern with Solomon is more of a primal nature, seeking to bed her, without the knowledge that she is in fact his latest rival.
Solomon's studio engineer Louis (Demetri Martin) is similarly after Solomon, albeit with a more awkward and romantic approach, while her father Sam re-enters the voiceover world once he discovers his daughter's new found status. Elsewhere, we find tensions between Solomon's sister, Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her husband (Rob Corddry), while the likes of Nick Offerman, Eva Longoria and Stephanie Allynne make some amusing turns in the supporting cast.
'In A World...' generally succeeds in its comedic elements but often tries too hard in the more dramatic stages, particularly in its clichéd final third. Yet there's a deeper message to Lake Bell's film, one of female empowerment, that raises questions over why female voiceovers are so rare and more widely, why the entertainment industry feels so dominated by men. Thankfully, it'll be a surprise if we don't hear much more from Lake Bell in the future.
'In A World...' is out in UK cinemas from Friday, through Sony Pictures.