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In a World

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The past few months have felt like a pretty dire spell at the multiplex. It's getting so you can't even look forward to hate-watching a blockbuster, let alone find escapist pleasure in seeing the world saved (again) from the latest mass-murdering plasma death ray.

A world does get saved in writer, director and star Lake Bell's smart, satisfying In a World. It's a small world — that of movie-trailer voice-over performers — but a fully realized one, which Bell has peopled with sharply drawn characters whose attentiveness, accommodation and tenderness find appropriate rewards (and generate laughs).

OK, that sounds a little corny, but it plays closer to miraculous. Imagine: a comedy that's actually funny, a peek behind the movie-industry curtain that doesn't feel smug, a visit with couples who make good company. Bell is generous with her castmates (Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins and Rob Corddry, among others), and her 90-minute movie does something bigger movies haven't lately. It gives you everything you've come hoping to see and leaves you wishing there were more. Sequel?

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