Posted under: Reviews
In the rapidly modernising world, with technology on the increase, we're in an age where the older generation just aren't quite fitting in anymore and are sometimes struggling to do so. It's an idea that has played to the big screen several times before - notably, earlier this year in While We're Young - but which also lends itself to Nancy Meyer's latest project, The Intern.
The film opens to Robert DeNiro's 70 year-old Ben Whittaker discussing why retirement isn't quite what it first seemed and that the abundance of free time is really starting to bore him. So, trying to fill the hole in his life, he applies for a senior internship he saw advertised for the rapidly growing online fashion company About The Fit. When he is accepted, he is assigned to work with and intern the company's founder Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Reluctant to him at first, the always busy, always stressed, difficult to work with and somewhat reclusive Jules begins to bond with the senior as the two start spending more and more time with one another and soon realises that there's more to life than she first thought.
With films like The Parent Trap or It's Complicated, director Nancy Meyers has shown that she knows how to make a competent and fun, joyous flick. Whilst her films don't exactly tend to be audacious or atypical, sticking close to formulaic methods, she always manages to make you smile and, her latest film, whilst not a masterpiece, excels in doing just that. It's not perfect but it's something special; certainly the best film from Meyers yet. Boasting a heart as big as it's two leads, this is a comedy that will make you laugh and smile and feel-good. Meyers, who also wrote the screenplay, injects lots of humour and warmth into the proceedings but not just for the older generation but for whichever youngsters decide to go and see the film too.
Speaking of youth, the cast in The Intern all deliver good performances. Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman, Anders Holm and Rene Russo all give some nice supporting talent here. Although, this film belongs to Anne Hathaway and, even more so, Robert DeNiro and the pair are wonderful. Hathaway gives a nice performance as the almost reclusive, constrained and frustrating Jules. She's not a character the audience is very fond of early on but, as the film progresses, we begin to see her relationship with DeNiro grow and we really start to see a warmer, more likeable side to her and Hathaway brings a lot of charisma to the character. However, it's DeNiro that is the standout here. The actor is a delight to watch in a quirkier, more light-hearted role than we've seen him tackle before and he brings a lot of warmth and charm to the role of Ben.
If there's one fault though, it's that his character seems a little too contrived and perfect at times. In fact, the large majority of the characters really come without much fault - albeit with one or two exceptions but only because the premise requires that. Despite how affable this affair is, it is let down by its idealistic and flawless human characters, merely just because it takes away from the believability factor and the real, honest nature of the whole proceedings. And this is down to the writing, which can seem quite fanciful and, again, contrived at times. And, really, there's not much of a premise for the first half of the film either. When we get into the second half, the screenplay continues to deliver big on heart but starts to focus on painting a much bigger picture and discusses some really important topics and has quite a poignant message too but for the first half, whilst still entertaining, feels without purpose and just seems like random ideas loosely tied together.
There's a lot that seems unresolved by the time the credits roll too and the curtain draws with a bit of a far-fetched, idealistic finale. Nonetheless, you can't help but feel satisfaction after viewing this picture. It's safe to say, it's a happy endeavour - a very happy one. But maybe that's a good thing. With my review of Sicario last week, I was discussing just why an utterly dark and relentless film is very welcomed thing these days but, on the other end of the spectrum, the same applies for an overtly happy and bubbly film too - especially seeing as the target audience tends to fall with the older demographic; although do not be put off by this for I am in my teens and I thoroughly enjoyed this film too. The Intern is a film that boasts a heart as big as it's lead stars and is also - rather surprisingly - very funny (a break-in scene is a true laugh-out-loud highlight) yet has an important, resonating message to be heard too. And, for all its optimism and warmth, that alone makes this feel-good comedy one to watch.
It's hard to fault The Intern for it's fluffy, buoyant approach. Whilst it may all seem a little too contrived, this is a fun and engaging film that will leave you smiling and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.