Lake Bell, a supporting actress in the romantic comedies What Happens in Vegas and No Strings Attached, sticks to the genre for her feature-film debut as writer-director (2013). In this jaundiced take on the LA production biz, she stars as a vocal coach competing in the notoriously male-dominated field of movie-trailer voice-over, undermined in particularly ugly ways by her narcissistic father (Fred Melamed of A Serious Man), himself a voice-over master. Although Bell strains to condemn sexism and cronyism in Hollywood, the subtext—that it’s a man’s world, so suck it up—is arguably the opposite of her intentions. There’s a difference between paying your dues and self-abasement, but you wouldn’t know it from this overstuffed and joyless film. With Demetri Martin.
In a World . . .
R • 1 hour 33 min • 2013