Monday, October 5, 2015

Movie Review #319: "The Intern" (2015)

Movie"The Intern"
Ticket Price: $7.00
Director: Nancy Meyers
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 1 minutes
Image Source
A 70-year old widower named Ben (Robert De Niro) is having trouble occupying his time during retirement. One day, he sees an ad about an internet clothing company that is hiring senior interns. He jumps at the opportunity and goes at it full force, and eventually, he passes all of his interviews with flying colors and gets the job. He is assigned to be the personal intern of company founder, owner, and CEO Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Jules isn't exactly thrilled at the thought of having an assistant at all, let alone a 70 year old one, but Ben has made it his mission to do his best to show his value and change her mind. 

"The Intern" comes to us from the same director as "It's Complicated" and "Something's Gotta Give," Nancy Meyers. Despite being somewhat panned by critics, this film is surprisingly very funny. It not only draws attention to the generational gap between pre-Baby Boom seniors and millennials, pointing out the differences in a snarky, comedic manner, but it also shows their similarities, as well how they come together in many different ways. The movie begins sporting a strong message that seniors citizens are still useful in the technological age and that women can be successful in business and still have a family, too. Unfortunately, it loses its momentum about two-thirds into the film as it forces a lot of melodramatic moments we think would have been better left on the cutting room floor. Jules, played by Anne Hathaway, has recently started an internet clothing company. Where she once had 20 employees, she now has 220 and has since expanded her business model at a rapid rate. Ben is 70 years old, retired, widowed, and looking for something to do with tons of time to fill his days. He joins the intern program at Jules' company and is assigned to Jules herself as a personal intern. She isn't thrilled with the idea, assuming Ben will just slow her down and get in the way. Of course, he quickly shows his value not only with Jules, but with the rest of the company, doing menial tasks others have put off and making friends with several of his much younger intern pals. Jules not only starts to see Ben's worth in the workplace, but she starts to rely on him elsewhere as he slowly becomes her best friend.

This is not your traditional romantic comedy. Ben and Jules are not love interests, but instead, create a deeper bond and a platonic friendship full of trust, relying on one another for emotional support, honesty, pleasantries, and unpleasantries. There is some really touching, tenderhearted moments between Jules, played as a tough cookie by Hathaway, and Ben, played by the incomparable Robert De Niro, as he becomes her mentor (or sorts) and she introduces him to all things hip and 2015. There are also some funny moments between Ben and the other younger college-aged interns as well, including a very memorable scene featuring Davis, played by Zack Pearlman, Lewis, played by Jason Orley, and Jason, played by Adam DeVine, where the 4 must break into Jules' mom's home to delete an email that is a complete riot. Ben might be there to work, but he does so much more, too. Because of his "worldly" experience, Ben shares his wisdom about life, style, and women with these guys, who have grown up in the internet age where it's acceptable to send an email in lieu of face-to-face break up, and where they can come to work with untucked shirts, flip flops, and a bad attitude.

We wound up laughing a lot more than we thought we would based on the trailers. Besides the developing friendship between Jules and Ben and Ben and his intern buddies, the rest of the film focuses on the fact that Jules' investors want to hire a CEO to run the day-to-day operations of her company. They don't have faith in her since she lacks the experience to run something that is growing as quickly as it is. In turn, Jules has take meeting after meeting with people from a list of pre-approved CEO's to see if they might make a good fit for her, her company, and her style. Basically, she has to hire someone be her boss, and this doesn't sit well with her. Jules, always running late to meetings, also has a family at home. Her husband Matt, played by Anders Holm, dropped everything he was doing at work to become a stay-at-home dad to their daughter Paige, played by the adorable JoJo Kushner. In true Hollywood fashion, when a female protagonist who is successful in her work has a hectic schedule and a family at home, to use Meyers' title against her, something's gotta give eventually. Everything was going so well in the plot of this film to the point where we were severely disappointed by its ending. In the end, even though Jules is a tough, strict, and solid worker, it's her personal life that determines what she does in her business life. As we mentioned before, the film was doing some really good things as far setting the tone that women could actually work and have a family with relatively no drama beyond being extremely busy, and from out of no where, a wall of forced drama rears its ugly head, going against what was the overall tone up until that point. The last one-fourth of the film just drags everything to a screeching halt as the typical Hollywood formula sets in, the musical score flips into a minor key, and it enters its mandatory sad, reflective moments phase. Without this ending, the fact that the movie felt a little bit long would have been fixed, and we could have actually watched a movie with a respectable message and tonality about working women with families. Still, for what it's worth, this was a really nice movie we quite enjoyed.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 60%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment