The Intern introduces us to a 70 year old recently widowed Ben Whittaker, who decides the best way to keep painful memories away is by keeping himself busy. Soon, he takes the plunge and applies for a senior internship at an online fashion site. Finding himself in a completely different work environment than what he was used to prior to retirement.
He gets assigned to the founder of the company, Jules Ostin, who is reluctant to give him any work because she doesn’t quite believe the arrangement would work. Slowly, she comes to realise the worth of having an experienced senior man working for her as he becomes her confidant and mentor.
The first half of The Intern is refreshing and hilarious as we get to see the interaction between the older Baby Boomer generation with the current laid back technology driven Millennial workers. Leading into comical scenarios as each generation learns from each other. The characters we are introduced to are well conceived and play necessary roles to set up the storyline in the first half of the movie. The tone at this point is generally happy, light and bright.
The second half starts struggling as the film tries to find its ground. There are moments of hilarious delight, heart-warming interactions, followed by heartbreak and struggle. Then goes full circle and we find ourselves back to the funny moments.
It hits a bumpy ride when believability goes out the window, specifically during a scene where a group decides the best way to stop someone from seeing an email, is to break into their house and steal their computer. Completely ignoring the fact that there is another laptop in the next room which the individual can use to check their email anyway.
Anne Hathaway captures the essence of her character; she is strong and innocent at the same time. On a few occasions, it can come across like she is over acting in scenes with De Niro due to his character being quite composed. Robert De Niro seems to have become used to playing the type of roles where he is the no nonsense yet funny guy. One can’t deny that Anne and Robert have a great on screen father/daughter like chemistry that feels authentic. Same can’t be said for Anders Holm, who plays the husband of Jules and stay at home dad for their daughter. Simply put, he was a casting mistake. There is zero chemistry between him and Jules on screen.
Despite all of its obvious faults, I still found it enjoyable and was ready to give it a good rating. That is until the last quarter, when it dawned on me that there won’t be a proper ending. The Intern is really badly wrapped up. I am not even sure you can even call it “wrapped up”. It seemed like the film makers put a lot of effort in to create an enjoyable film that showcases modern realities, and at the last moment they ran out of ideas, gave up and threw an end together for the sake of ending the film. It will leave you saying “Is THAT it?!! What happened to…?” Not only is it an injustice to the characters but the writers freely made way for it to be crucified by certain critics who refuse to accept lead female roles where women are powerful.
I rate in 5 out of 10 stars.
The Intern is out in cinemas now