<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed & Written by Nancy Meyers. Starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Adam DeVine, Andrew Rannells, Zack Pearlman, Jason Orley, CJ Wilson
Running time: 2 hours
With Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway in a film you really can’t go wrong and Nancy Meyers has written a story that’s different and unpredictable at points, which makes it that much more loveable.
You’ve seen the trailers so you know what it’s about: an internet shopping start-up created by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) initiates a unique programme of hiring intern talent. They call for seniors to fill the roles in the hope that experience never gets old and trying something new. Ben Whitaker (Robert De Niro) is a widower without a job and needs to fill a void in his life. So with some pluck, a Handycam and some Internet dabbling, he applies and is selected. He’s not in for an easy ride though, since he’s assigned to the not-so-easy Jules who likes doing things on her own and her way.
As you can imagine, the likeable and cuddly Ben wins the hearts of everyone in office including the office masseuse (Rene Russo) – this is one of those new age start-ups with kids having fun while they play – but Jules takes some time to notice the impact he’s having on her employees and very soon on her own life.
The Intern doesn’t go in the direction that you imagine. Jules’s company is looking for a CEO and she’s looking to be able to spend more time with her stay-at-home husband and precious daughter so that she can perhaps save her not-quite-solid marriage. Of course, Ben plays a big role in Jules’s work and personal life as she gradually begins to see him as her ‘zen’ and ‘calming element’.
There’s a lot of insight in the film too, like how a stay-at-home husband handles a big shot wife who has no time for him or their daughter. About how she feels and whether she is to blame at all for any problems in their marriage, even though there seem to be none, at first. There’s also a nudge there about women being the ones who put down other women just because they’re a success and don’t have much time for their kids. But hey, aren’t these women breaking glass ceilings, just like most feminists want them to do?
Sure there’s a bit of silliness in the film and mush but it’s good ol’ fashioned mush. De Niro’s Ben is exceedingly gentlemanly in an age when men are called boys and women have to be the adults. Some of this insight probably stems from the mind of director/writer Nancy Meyers who is also afraid that this type of film about adults and adult relationships isn’t getting made anymore ever since super heroes became top dollar to the studios. Here’s an interesting interview with her about just that: The Intern’s Nancy Meyers On The State Of Screenwriting And “Telling Stories About Human Beings”
The Intern is a lovely and charming film that will make you feel warm and won’t treat you like a child, spoon-feeding you drivel that you’re so used to watching in film’s of this genre.