You have to see In a World — if for no other reason, it’s the perfect story to explain to someone the glass ceiling faced by most women. In a World is genius. It’s brilliant, amazingly well written, and filled with all kinds of nuances that speak to our lives and what is right and wrong with them. Family issues. Sibling connections. Loving someone out of your league. Commitment and its challenges. Self confidence. Need I go on? Rarely will you go to a movie that offers so many mirrors of yourself to look into. Thank you, Lake Bell.
So, who is Lake Bell and where did she come from? This movie is in the Juno category, and even if it’s a one-shot wonder, I want to know this person who is behind it.
It took me a good ten minutes to figure out where I’d seen Lake Bell before. Then it hit me. She’s the dragon tattoo lady married to Meryl’s ex in It’s Complicated. I was stunned. It’s so rare to see someone on the screen who can be more than one persona. When I realized she’d written it, directed it, and starred in it, I was blown away. Blown away, I tell you. I have very little desire to meet Hollywood players, but I would have lunch with Lake. Dinner. Breakfast. Tell me where and when, and I’ll be there. I want to pick her brain. What made her think of it? What was her father like? Has she done voice-overs? Oh my, maybe we should spend a weekend at Canyon Ranch? One meal isn’t enough time.
The cast is obscure and perfect. The sisters look like sisters. Rob Corddry, who plays Lake’s sister’s husband, will tear your heart out. He makes the case over and over again for marrying the nice guy, not the guy who sends your heart into cardiac arrest. Ken Marino, who plays Gustav and has the difficult task of walking close to the line of ridiculous, nails it. There is one weak link, however. Fred Melamed, who plays Lake’s father, is off. I’m not sure exactly why, or whether he was playing it the way she directed, but he’s not quite believable.
Here is what I love, love, love about In a World: It proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can make great movies without a star attraction. It proves that there can be many Hollywood writers. It proves that we can rework this industry, and women can have a voice and a place in film. It shows the sheer depth of resources that exist for making films that are unique, compelling, and funny.