National Review / Digital
Film: Small Ball
A review of In a World . . .
Lake Bell in In a World . . . (Roadside Attractions)


She stars as Carol, the underachieving, dorky, semi-hapless daughter of a sonorous, self-satisfied, chauvinist voice-over legend (Fred Melamed). He’s awaiting his lifetime-achievement award; she’s still living in his spare bedroom, making ends meet by teaching movie stars how to do a Cockney accent. Or rather, she’s living there until he decides that it’s time for his twentysomething girlfriend to move in, at which point she decamps for the apartment shared by her sister (Michaela Watkins) and her husband (Rob Corddry), becoming a third wheel in a marriage that’s about to hit a rough patch.

From this low point, though, Carol finds a way to rise. First, she swipes a voice gig out from under her father’s heir apparent, Gustav (Ken Marino), a preening pretty boy with pipes. Then, with the help of an audio technician (Demetri Martin) whose devotion is apparent to everyone save her, she manages to put herself in the running for the trailer voice-over for Hollywood’s latest mega-budget tentpole, The Amazon Games, whose producers have decided to resurrect the classic trailer opening line: “In a world . . .”

September 16, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 17

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Florence King reviews Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, by Jeff Guinn.
  • John Fonte reviews America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century — Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, by James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus.and Native Americans: Patriotism, Exceptionalism, and the New American Identity, by James S. Robbins.
  • Paul Marshall reviews Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity, by Samuel Tadros.
  • Jay Nordlinger discusses the Salzburg Festival.
  • Ross Douthat reviews In a World . . .
  • Richard Brookhiser discusses how a place achieves placehood.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .