The Intern: Film Review
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Adam Devine
Director: Nancy Meyers
Director Nancy Meyers (It's Complicated, Something's Gotta Give) is back in familiar territory in The Intern.
70-year old widower Ben (played by Robert De Niro) has lived in Brooklyn all his life, and worked there all his life. So without a wife, and in retirement, he's found it all a bit of a shock. On a whim he decides to apply for a senior internship at Anne Hathaway's Jules Ostin's online fashion business. Accepted into the programme, and allocated to Jules, Ben tries to settle back into the groove - but the hyper-controlling Jules isn't willing to accept him without a fight - and matters get more complicated when Ben's made Jules' intern...
Generation gap comedy The Intern is a veritable fluffy jumper of a movie, a flick that revels in its cosiness as it espouses tritely veiled bon mots about experience being more vital in this day and age but oft overlooked.
Following a meta-thread that seems to hint at the once ferocious De Niro's place in the acting world and throws to the notion the man must take a succession of comedic roles that call on him to produce a series of gurning moments, its vanilla sensibilities threaten to over-season this gentle dish, best served to an audience seeking easy and predictably recognisable laughs.
Going from The Devil Wears Prada's put-upon assistant to now top dog, Hathaway's self-aggrandisement begins to falter as the script calls upon her to crumble, destroying the earlier set out notion that career women can have it all in this modern day world. Clearly according to Meyer's film, that's not actually the case when push comes to shove.
And yet with a degree of affability on the parts of both leads, this soufflé of a film begins to rise in parts above its conceit and belief that hey an older person in the workplace can have its benefits. But only once they master turning on a computer or the vagueries of joining the Facebook. Be still, my compromised and patronised sides.
In fact, the lightly once over script may just win over some people - even with a moment shoehorned in that sees Ben and the other interns forced to break into Jules' mom's house to retrieve a wrongly sent email. Meyers knows when to mix the farce into the frothy niceness on show and does so with reasonable aplomb, even if the element of the story feels bolted on and at odds with Ben's insistence on guiding Jules through life.
Ultimately, The Intern is no place for cynicism, no place for thinly veiled sarcasm - it's one of those films which is pleasantly made, wholly predictable and utterly the sum of its parts. It does exactly what it says on the tin, celebrates the nice guy mentality of Ben and perfectly services an audience not wanting to be challenged on a night out.