Lake Bell’s new film, In a World, has been getting mostly good notices – a rave from the NY Times’ AO Scott, and pretty good reviews from other critics. But what seems to have gotten her more attention is the nude cover on New York Magazine: Sex is maybe the most powerful weapon a woman has and she only has it for a short window of time. This is one of the reasons it is more difficult for any woman over 40 in Hollywood to get a foothold. This is especially true here in America, less so in other countries where women don’t exactly have an expiration date. But there is no denying that Lake Bell’s cover here would get her more attention from the mostly male bloggers and critics who cover film. What is it about our sexuality that makes heads turn? Is it just biology? Does it make people take Lake Bell less seriously? Would, say, a young actor breaking out as a writer/director earn respect, attention or disdain if he were to pose nude on the cover of a magazine? Lake Bell’s career has been made mostly on her looks, and her body, now she is proving that she can also write and direct pretty well. And yet, showing off her body is still the best way to get people to pay attention to her film. This is probably true across the board for women – writers, singers, politicians, bloggers: sex sells. I still put her screenplay on the contender tracker, which I’d have done with or without this cover. I am not sure she is doing herself any favors here, but I also know no one was talking about her movie until she did it. And so it goes.