Review: The Intern

Ben Whitaker (Robert DeNiro) is widower who has been trying to keep busy since he retired. Ben learns about a senior intern program and is placed at a start up fashion website run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), a thirty something year old mother who works 30 hours a day and is constantly juggling phones and meetings when she’s not riding her bike through the office.

The lovable Ben is hired as Jules’ personal assistant to help take a few things off her plate. With Jules’ company growing rapidly, investors are suggesting she hire a CEO to give her a hand assisting in the company’s ongoing growth. Ben’s calming presence starts to help Jules deal with the pressure to hire a CEO, her unconventional family, and having faith in the company she started.

The Intern is much more humorous than it looks. Hathaway and De Niro do all the dramatic heavy lifting, but the supporting cast of Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman, Jason Orley, and Christina Scherer add much needed comedy.  The best comedic scene is a covert e-mail extraction when the group names themselves after the Oceans 11 actors.

Speaking of supporting cast, JoJo Kushner is great Jules daughter Paige. She’s not just adorable; she nails some pretty good comedic beats. People will be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

The story is as predictable as it looks. Ben is an old school gentlemen that wears a suit every day when everyone else dresses “super casj”. He doesn’t know about FaceBook, but can teach the hipster guys how to dress and talk to girls. He’s the magical old person that shows up and makes everything right.

Even with the first 2/3 of the film being more fantasy than reality, The Intern manages to be an entertaining story. Unfortunately the wheels fall off during the final 1/3 of the film. The big dilemmas in the film sloppily come to happy resolutions. I guess that’s to be expected from a Nancy Meyers film, but nothing about the  ending feels right. The film addresses real personal issues only to have them dipped in fantasy endings.

Jules is disconnected, cold, self absorbed, and never has time for anyone – not even Paige. Somehow she never owns upto any of that being the reason for her personal issues or issues with her company. The audience is supposed to cheer for Jules because she’s successful? Because she befriended an old guy? Is it because it’s her company? She’s borderline unlikeable for most of the film. Yet, she’s the one the people are supposed to feel sorry for. It’s a hard sell.

How does Jules solve her problems? By continuing to do the same thing she’s always done. She doesn’t change or have an “a ha” moment. It’s reminiscent of Rocky never changing his fighting style, and somehow pulling out a victory in the 12th round.

Not to mention the abrupt ending  feels like the credits started running 2 minutes early.

The Intern is predictable yet fun at times. It has TNT classic written all over it. It’ll be on every Saturday at 10:00AM in three years. There’s some good laughs and good Anne Hathaway tears as well.The finale leaves a bad taste, but it’s a surprisings enjoyable ride until then.

Grade: C+

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