By any metric, few will likely consider The Intern a good film. In this case, that’s not an indictment because it’s certainly an entertaining one. It opens wide Friday (Sept. 25) with special screenings Thursday (Sept. 24).
In that regard, it’s the most odd date movie anyone is likely to come across in eons. The Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give) effort entertains in spades courtesy of more than a few hearty laughs, a fair measure of charm and some amiable performances from a cast headed by Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway.
Their relationship anchors a film with a different slant on friendships.
Theirs is platonic, but nonetheless features its share of affection that comes from the unlikeliest of situations. Hathaway portrays Jules, the head of an Internet start-up specializing in clothing. She’s the quintessential 21st century woman with a career, marriage and family. Or is she?
We find out after her veep initiates a “senior internship” to help the company gain some insight into that segment of the shopping demographic.
Enter Ben (DeNiro), a widower and former corporate vice president, now retired, still looking for something to do in his life. He interviews for one of the internship positions and is hired. He eventually becomes Jules’ personal assistant and is allowed to peer into her life, both professional and personal.
At 70, Ben possesses a wealth of knowledge that he’s willing to pass on and Jules can benefit from it. She’s struggling to maintain control of her company. While business is booming and it’s on track for significant growth, her investors do not believe she’s capable of handling it and they want her to hire a CEO.
When considering that, it’s an incredibly sexist stance. But some could say that Ben’s counsel, which becomes more and more important to Jules, also embodies sexism. The young and already successful business woman can’t make it without input from a man, right? It comes across as patriarchal in some instances, but that characterization is beyond politically correct in this instance. Sometimes situations just happen.
That’s because Meyers crafts a script that makes the friendship that blossoms between the two feel so natural that evolves in a completely believable manner. The fact that Hathaway and DeNiro – both Oscar winners – possess the one attribute that makes that necessary – undeniable chemistry – helps.
That chemistry comes as easily as their performances. No they’re not going for awards clips here, but they do create two enjoyable characters with whom the audience can easily identify. In any performance, that’s most of the battle. Both are funny in their own ways, even in the face of personal issues.
The Intern succeeds at what it wants to do. It entertains, never bores and it’s worth a look.
Movie: The Intern
Director: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rated: PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language
Running time: 121 minutes
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com