Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
The Intern is the latest project from Nancy Meyers well known for bringing films like The Holiday (2006) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003) to the big screen. The set up of the film is that Robert De Niro is 70 year-old Ben Whittaker struggling to fill his retirement when he comes across a flyer advertising a senior citizen internship programme at an Internet set-up selling the latest fashions. He finds himself attached to the founder of the company, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), who has a reputation of being difficult to work for. To make things worse she can’t remember giving the OK to the intern programme and doesn’t want anything to do with Ben. So, can the two find a way to work together or is the culture clash of old world and new world too much to overcome?
The Intern turned out to be a surprisingly grown up tale that focuses on sexism in the workplace and the challenge of successful mums balancing the demands of work and family. Jules husband was the high flyer who gave up his career to be a stay at home Dad which creates strains in their relationship. At the same time when she does attend a school event she faces judgement from the other mothers for focusing on her career. The lead duo hold this film together as they work extremely well on screen balancing a blend of humour and drama.
While the film does have some interesting themes they are a little slight in places and this is a rather perfectly presented world. The two leads live in impeccably presented town houses and work in an impeccably presented office with great work colleagues that support each other and have no arguments. It’s all a little too perfect. There is a very odd sequence in the film where De Niro leads the other younger interns on a mission to break into Hathaway’s parents house to delete an e-mail she sent accidentally. It borders on farce and seemed like it came from another movie. I’ve been putting this off for as long as I can but I need to explain the heading to this review. There is a scene that comes towards the end of The Intern that led me to punch the seat in front of me (no-one was sat in the chair) and led me to reduce my final rating. I hated it. It was as if Meyers just couldn’t help herself and had to wrap everything up with a very pretty bow. I didn’t believe for a second that the story could wrap itself up so neatly. Such a shame!
Overall I was won over by the charm of this movie within the first 15 minutes and I was surprised by how grown up it was. I really warmed to the characters and when a twist in the story comes I felt my heart sank so it was definitely giving me the feels. Despite the shocking ending I still recommend giving this film a shot. My rating 3/5.