Ever go into a film knowing full well not only the plot but the turns it’ll make at every single point? Well, welcome to The Intern. A film starring Robert De Niro as Ben Whittaker, a 70 year old widow trying to find something to do to pass the time between death and now. Anne Hathaway stars as Jules Ostin, an extremely busy CEO of an up and coming business that is doing so well it’s beginning to slip out of her hands as well as her personal life. She is trying to find a new CEO to make it easier on her whole life and one day Ben notices her driver has been drinking and their paths begin to cross leading on a whimsical journey where the road is nothing but candy coated lessons about life and nothing bad ever happens.
Now on with the good of the film. The way the story sets up Ben’s life of isolation and Jules’ too busy self is realistic. Ben just wants to belong to something and Jules wants to get a better grip on everything. The acting is actually as good as it can be with such paper thin Hallmark card greeting characterization and side plots that have no payoff or feel like some sketch your creative grandmother made because she finally discovered what youtube was. You know the twists and turns of this one folks right from the poster. It’s not bad it’s just meant for a different audience.
With that said though, said audience does deserve characterization besides one character possibly learning something and horrible compare and contrasts of the old days to the new days. It’s kind of like seeing a family friendly comic, you know exactly what you’re getting into beforehand because you bought the ticket but you just hoped that by some possibility there would be something more there. The main problem that the film runs into is just that it feels like coherent 90 minute flick with 30 minutes of padding in-between. If you don’t believe, then take some random subplot where Jules accidentally e-mails her mom a nasty e-mail. She has Ben and his group of friends go and break into the house to delete. Yes, it’s meant for comic relief but it adds 10 – 15 minutes of nothing. It doesn’t pay off in the end and never is brought up again. It’s sole purpose was just for a random scene where funny things happen.
If you don’t mind your films to be overly saccharine and something to bond over with your family member over 60 then The Intern is the perfect film for you. For everyone else though, just a buyer beware as it’s not a straight comedy. It’s a Nancy Meyers flick so that means overly long screen time with characters that want something more but are never scripted out fully and could’ve been so much better but as is, it’s not bad.
(Side rant: Ben in the film is a hypocrite. He calls out Jules’ driver for drinking on the job yet when he drives her later in the film he has a beer with her over pizza. Yes a beer compared to hard liquor, but you would think for someone being so jesus like they would follow their own rules especially considering how they met.)