Romance films, take two: in which there are romantic plots that don’t end (realistically) in heartbreak and tragedy.
This week is Christa’s pick, In a World, which I watched some time ago (seriously the most accurate estimate of time I can give you) and have no problem revisiting. See her review here.
In a World…
Where to Watch:
Carol, the daughter of a successful voiceover actor, struggles to find her voice in an industry dominated by particularly asshole-y men.
The Uncondensed Version:
This review is a little bit different b/c: A. I like this film and don’t want to ruin it for you, B. There isn’t really a ton going on in terms of plot, so it makes plot summary challenging, and C. I would rather express my feminist rage, to be honest.
The basic premise is that Carol (Lake Bell) is trying to break into the voiceover business, which is especially brutal as a woman whose father is a big name in the industry. Since she’s between gigs at the moment, Carol takes a job as a voice coach for Eva Longoria. As her father’s waaaaaaaay younger girlfriend moves in, Carol moves out and stays with her sister and husband.
This conveniently introduces one of the major subplots, the marriage intrigue of Carol’s sister and husband, as they are both interested in attractive citizens of the UK and seem unable to reconcile their differences even with the healing magic of sandwiches.
Other romantic subplot occurs between Carol and her friend Louis, who is really into her as evidenced by his rambling voicemail messages, help with recording/finding gigs, and general willingness to bring her drinks (of the non-alcoholic variety). He also almost has Justin Bieber hair, right?
The major tension in this movie is between Carol and her father, who is trying to groom his protégé Gustav as the next king of the voiceover industry. Unknowingly, Carol is successfully “stealing” (read: earning) all of the jobs Gustav is up for, thus infuriating her father. Carol’s father on women: “They’re flying our planes, they’re taking our jobs.” He is the worst. If you can make it through this film without punching any men in the face, I commend you.
So obviously when Carol tells her father the good news about her progress in the industry, he basically says she’s an amateur and shouldn’t have gotten the jobs. He decides to go for the job doing the voiceover for the new Amazon Games series, which would be a huge breakthrough for Carol if she got it.
Everything culminates at the Golden Trailer awards, where Carol’s father will receive a Lifetime Achievement award, and the new voice of The Amazon Games will be revealed. Probably the biggest question on everyone’s mind at this point: Will Carol’s father ever stop being a dick???
What this film lacks in plot, it makes up for in characters, humor, and feminist vision.
Carol is just kind of a shit show, which I do not relate to at all. I have NEVER eaten peanut butter straight out of alternating jars or made terrible fashion decisions or felt incredibly uncomfortable at parties. If you’d like to suggest otherwise, I’d like to see some compelling evidence.
Speaking of awkward, though…sometimes it hurts how awkward allllllllllllllll of the characters in this movie are. Carol really takes the cake in terms of obliviousness, but Louis ranks at a close second.
The feminist messages of this movie are NOT subtle, and I appreciate that so very much. Lake Bell takes on the sense of male entitlement when women “steal” jobs from decent, hardworking men (eye roll), the challenges of women finding a voice on- and off-screen, and general asshole-ry.
Also Geena Davis and Nick Offerman are in this movie. I forgot about Nick Offerman b/c he’s not sporting a ‘stache, which is kind of weird.
The Carol’s sister/husband subplot was veering on unnecessary, but this is still a fun film to watch. For romance theme purposes, it fits the criteria without going over the top, so definite approval from me.