Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 2013. 3311 Productions, In A World, Team G. Screenplay by Lake Bell. Cinematography by Seamus Tierney. Produced by Lake Bell, Mark Roberts, Jeff Steiger, Eddie Vaisman. Music by Ryan Miller. Production Design by Megan Fenton. Costume Design by Lindy McMichael. Film Editing by Tom McArdle. Dorian Awards 2013. Independent Spirit Awards 2013. National Board of Review Awards 2013. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2013.
Lake Bell writes, directs and stars in this sharp, funny investigation of a side of show business that is rarely focused on, voice-over artists for movie trailers. The famous gravelly male intonations often beginning with the titular phrase have dominated the industry for years, meaning that someone like Bell, who wants to be the voice you hear on coming attractions ads, is unable to break through because women aren’t heard on trailers. She makes her money as a dialect coach for actors, but when an opportunity comes up and she gets a voiceover gig in place of the up and comer (played with charming doucheiness by Ken Marino) who is taking over the industry from her established father (Fred Melamed), it ends up spinning her up the ladder and into the position of possibly doing the trailer for a Hunger Games-like quadrilogy. The problem is that Marino is not going to take it lying down, neither is her father, who was happy to put down his crown as king of the same industry before his daughter decided to horn her way in. The inclusion of sister Michaela Watkins (who is wonderful) and her marital woes with Rob Corddry are a false attempt at thickening the story up with more conflicts and tangents, but overall it’s a smart affair that benefits from Bell’s freshly appealing personality and complete lack of indulgence in character quirkiness or repetition. She knows exactly what needs to be included to get the story across without going overboard, and then concludes a very interesting examination of a rarely-known type of sexism in the business with a smart speech by Geena Davis, about the commercially-minded ideology that trumps every other goal that artists aim to achieve.