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Marriage and Midwestern Accents: A Conversation With Lake Bell

Actress and director Lake Bell at the Premiere <em>Mr. Peabody & Sherman </em>in Westwood, California.
Frazer Harrison
Getty Images
Actress and director Lake Bell at the Premiere Mr. Peabody & Sherman in Westwood, California.

Back in 2013, Lake Bell, an actress known for TV and film roles including Boston Legal, It's Complicatedand No Strings Attached, wrote and directed In A World..., a smart comedy about a female voiceover artist trying to land a job narrating a blockbuster movie trailer. (We did a segment about the film, and about voiceovers, as a matter of fact.)

She's back as the writer, director and star of the new film I Do...Until I Don't, which follows three couples who become entangled with a documentarian who wants to make a film arguing that marriage should not be a lifelong commitment, but a seven-year deal with an option to renew. The couples are played by Bell and Ed Helms; Amber Heard and Wyatt Cenac; and Paul Reiser and Mary Steenburgen. It's an engaging movie with a view of marriage that surprised me a little, and it was fun to chat with Bell about it.

We also talk about the world of voices, with which she's sort of obsessed, and about why she and I both change the sounds of our voices depending on our circumstances. She puzzles over how Brits say goodbye on the phone, and I consider the calming power of Minnesota.

Also, because it's Friday, Marissa Lorusso of NPR Music and Sarah Ventre of member station KJZZ, who joined us to talk about the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this week, are back to tell us what's making them happy this week.

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.