The voiceover world is apparently a very small one. Either you have to be a well-known actor already or be so golden-throated as to be that one-in-a-hundred-million resonant, iconic-James Earl Jones-type voice, with unforgettably sonorous pipes. (Interesting that Jones himself was unaccredited as the original voice of Darth Vader, later corrected.)
In Carol’s world, her Dad, Sam (Fred Melamed) is that guy, The Man, The Legend, the one the whole industry now flocks to as the “go-to” guy and that kind of attention has not done kind things to her personality. He’s become so self-absorbed that he still patronizes both his grown daughters, and casts such a large shadow that it’s difficult for them to find their own light. Carol (Lake Bell) is trying to make it in her dad’s chosen field, and not having an easy time of it. She still lives with her dad (her mom is deceased), but he now tells her that he wants his latest bimbo to move in, so she has to move out.
That throws her in with her sister, Dani (Michaela Watkins) and her husband Moe (Rob Corddry), who are accommodating enough, but they’re having their own problems. Dani is a concierge at a luxury hotel and is pursued relentlessly by solo guests who are eager to leave their relationships back where they came from – and Dani just might be susceptible to succumbing to their enticing blandishments. Carol’s big rival in the overdub biz is Gustav (Ken Marino), who turns out to be a conscienceless slimeball, but his amorous attentions are enough to distract Carol from the co-worker who really cares for her but he’s too shy to show it.
This film was written and directed by Lake Bell and the script is refreshingly comical, keeping the viewer chuckling, if not guffawing, throughout. The problem is that she writes herself as the heroine of all the subplots. Her dad’s a selfish, bombastic jerk, but finally expresses his love for her, partly because his bimbo has become enamored with Carol’s character. Her scofflaw professional rival gets both defeated and exposed for the empty-hearted manipulator that he is. Even her too-shy co-worker finally manages to express his affection for her, right as she is finally succeeding mightily in her field, so that at the end she is now holding “how to succeed” seminars. Well, it’s not that we’re not rooting for her, because she is a winsome and likeable character, but nobody gets everything they want.
RONALD P. SALFEN is the minister at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Irving, Texas.