Simply charming. A romantic comedy set in the comically cutthroat world of voice-over announcing. The movie begins with a nod to the real-life king of all such announcers, the late Don LaFontaine (including an interview clip from Fox-11 with John Beard!), then segues to the fictional plot of an aspiring female announcer whose father is a longtime voiceover artist who has always lived in LaFontaine’s shadow and who compensates by routinely belittling his daughter’s aspirations in what’s long been a male-dominated industry. The daughter, played by Lake Bell (who also wrote and directed), nonetheless pursues her dream, ultimately succeeds and finds love as well. The dad’s self-centered obnoxiousness is well played by Fred Melamed, who might want to use this performance as an audition reel should they ever do a biopic on Hollywood’s most reviled producer, Scott Rudin; he’s a dead ringer. On the other end of the sweetness scale is Demetri Martin, whose trademark Beatles moptop, giant nose and intelligent, sensitive eyes make him one of the more adorkable recent love interests. Along the way, there’s a tender side plot involving another couple’s breakup and reconciliation that shows what a good actor former “Daily Show” correspondent Rob Corddry has become — following in the footsteps of Steve Carrell and Ed Helms. There are a couple of plot devices that strain to make screenplay points — a gratuitously cruel lecture by Geena Davis as a powerful producer and a big “reveal” at an awards show banquet — but mostly, it’s all smiles. — Jeff Schultz
IN A WORLD… where there are too few truly funny comedies and at a time when there is precious little to see i theaters one movie outshines them all. Ok, sorry, had to do it. I absolutely loved this movie. Jeff has already detailed the plot as well as I ever could, so let me skip right to why this is so good. IN A WORLD… is smart comedy. It’s doesn’t resort to poking fun at the less intelligent or world wise. It’s not slapstick or filled with physical humor. It just throws the scenes at you and makes you laugh. That’s not to say it’s just a series of disjointed scenes. Far from it. It flows together perfectly and is completely satisfying on every level. Lake Bell is enormously talented as a screenwriter, director and actress. It’s her movie, but she allows everyone to join in the fun. Fred Melamed is loathsome, until he isn’t. Demetri Martin is sweet in the best thing he’s ever done. Nick Offerman, Michaela Watkins and Rob Corddry all are wonderful. Despite their idiosyncrasies you can’t help but root for each character, because they all reveal their true nature in the end. In a summer filled with disappointing blockbusters and just one truly great film (THE WORLD’S END), IN A WORLD… is a little indie gem and should set the stage for a long successful career for Lake Bell.