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Review: The Intern

The Intern
09.23.2015
5 10
 

PLOT: A bored retiree (Robert De Niro) signs-up to be an intern at a start-up e-commerce company, where he grows close to the stressed-out founder and CEO (Anne Hathaway).

REVIEW: When you go see a Nancy Meyers movie these days, you pretty much know what you're gonna get. Defiantly geared towards baby-boomer audiences, her movies are old-fashioned, often quite cute and pleasant comedies with a guaranteed happy ending and a minimum of drama. Her latest, THE INTERN, really is no different from movies like SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, THE HOLIDAY or IT'S COMPLICATED. Audiences looking for a simple comedy that, by-design, is forgettable and non-taxing will likely get their money's worth, but it's all so disposable that one yearns for the days Meyers used to write smarter, edgier comedies like IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES, PRIVATE BENJAMIN, and the great BABY BOOM, to which this compares unfavorably.

 

Some of THE INTERN's faults can likely be chalked-up to the studio. As the market for rom-coms has diminished somewhat, everyone's trying to save a buck and despite cinematography by veteran Stephen Goldblatt, THE INTERN doesn't have the lavish, big-budget look Meyers is famous for. The movie also suffers from a constant-stream of iTunes-friendly pop-hits, a preponderance of product placement, with De Niro proudly stating in the first scene that he starts every day at Starbucks (where he also goes to fetch coffee for the staff later), along with constant use of Mac devices, shout-outs to Uber and even a really weird Netflix mention where Anne Hathaway says it in such a forced way, you have to wonder if she's ever even heard of the service. Basically, it suffers from artlessness.

What's somewhat surprising is the presence of Hathaway, who typically shies away from big-studio comedies and seems unconvincingly chipper here. Basically, she's too perfect. She seems to treasure her employees, is the perfect mother and basically an all-around swell gal. The premise of the movie hinges on the possibility that she'll lose control of her company to a new CEO, but she's such an effortlessly great boss that seems ridiculous. To Meyers' credit, there is a twist late in the film that suggests Hathaway's career has taken a toll on her marriage, with her spouse (Anders Holm) having quit his job to become a stay-at-home dad. While this is resolved in an admirably mature and unconventional way, it all feeds into a very millennial attitude that there's no need to ever sacrifice anything, as things will always work out in the end. Meyer's earlier BABY BOOM basically said the opposite and while it wouldn't have been necessary to have Hathaway choose one or the other, at least a real sense of conflict, which would give the film a little more realism than the picture-perfect 1% world this is set in, would have been nice.

 

Perhaps here Meyers is deliberately trying to stretch, although of course, De Niro's baby boomer is so wise that he's almost a Yoda-like sage. Everyone's so perfect, from the happy-go-lucky staff to Rene Russo as De Niro's potential love interest, that it almost feels condescending. At times THE INTERN comes dangerously close to feeling more like a Garry Marshall movie than a Nancy Meyers one, but luckily some decent dialogue and all-around better execution keeps this from happening.

It's worth saying that De Niro really does give THE INTERN his all, and Meyers has rallied a good performance out of him. While he takes a lot of heat from the random movies he shows up in, he seems fully committed here and actually conveys a nice sense of warmth, something he's not called on to do much anymore.

In the end THE INTERN is a very forgettable movie, but I have no doubt a certain audience will get a big kick out of it, as did the preview audience I saw it with. It's nakedly commercial, but it too often feels artificial and has no sense of real emotion to it. Fans of the star pairing might want to give this a look when it hits streaming, but with so many other quality films coming out in the next few weeks, I can't really give this even a mild recommendation.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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11:25AM on 09/24/2015
"Meyers used to right smarter,"

*write

"De Niro's baby boomer is so wise that he's almost a Yoda-like sage."

That's a problem. There's no such thing as a wise Baby Boomer. They're the most unwise generation in American history.
"Meyers used to right smarter,"

*write

"De Niro's baby boomer is so wise that he's almost a Yoda-like sage."

That's a problem. There's no such thing as a wise Baby Boomer. They're the most unwise generation in American history.
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12:14PM on 09/24/2015
You said what we are all thinking.
You said what we are all thinking.
9:17AM on 09/24/2015
Not going to dismiss the rating of this movie. Seems par for the course on this type of movie. But this was a really shitty review.

"What's somewhat surprising is the presence of Hathaway, who typically shies away from big-studio comedies" Her resume is riddled with big studio comedies, including:
1) The Princess Diaries (2001)
2) Ella Enchanted (2004)
3) The Princess Diaries 2 (2004)
4) The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
5) Get Smart (2008)
6) Bride Wars (2009)
7) Valentine's Day
Not going to dismiss the rating of this movie. Seems par for the course on this type of movie. But this was a really shitty review.

"What's somewhat surprising is the presence of Hathaway, who typically shies away from big-studio comedies" Her resume is riddled with big studio comedies, including:
1) The Princess Diaries (2001)
2) Ella Enchanted (2004)
3) The Princess Diaries 2 (2004)
4) The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
5) Get Smart (2008)
6) Bride Wars (2009)
7) Valentine's Day (2010)
8) Love and Other Drugs (2010)

That's 8 movies in the last 15 years that have been big studio comedies. I'd say this is more of a return to form for Anne Hathaway than a surprise move in her career.

I'm not sure how old Chris Bumbray is, so I'm not sure where you get that all millennials have a sense of not caring or no need to sacrifice on the assumption that everything will work out in the end. As a millennial I can tell you first hand that is not true. Many people I know at my age are making huge sacrifices by living on small amounts of money so we can put what we can from our paychecks into savings in the hopes of being able to afford the essential things later on in life (i.e. buying a house, raising a kid, etc.)

So in closing, this article is garbage, Chris Bumbray knows little to nothing about movies, and he may be an idiot.
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9:40AM on 09/24/2015
You mad bro?
You mad bro?
2:29AM on 09/24/2015

It's a Nancy Meyers film of course it's vanilla soft serve.

Every film Meyers has directed is set in the same impossibly white, impossibly wealthy, entitled, and extremely bland world. It's a wonder Gwyneth Paltrow hasn't headlined one of these "films". It's Complicated was in insult to my senses so I will never watch The Intern. Never.
Every film Meyers has directed is set in the same impossibly white, impossibly wealthy, entitled, and extremely bland world. It's a wonder Gwyneth Paltrow hasn't headlined one of these "films". It's Complicated was in insult to my senses so I will never watch The Intern. Never.
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8:03AM on 09/24/2015
100% agree
I walked out the theater when I went to see it's complicated 20 mins after the begginning ... usually, I always stays to the end to see if I am well surprised, but gosh, those wealthy wasp com├ędies are sooooo bland and boring....
100% agree
I walked out the theater when I went to see it's complicated 20 mins after the begginning ... usually, I always stays to the end to see if I am well surprised, but gosh, those wealthy wasp com├ędies are sooooo bland and boring....
2:07PM on 09/24/2015
I actually enjoyed every scene Steve Martin was in. Can't say I enjoyed much else about it.
I actually enjoyed every scene Steve Martin was in. Can't say I enjoyed much else about it.
+1
1:23AM on 09/24/2015

Bad review - just what I was afraid of

My wife is dragging me to this one tonight, God help me!
My wife is dragging me to this one tonight, God help me!
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7:59AM on 09/24/2015
I'd advise you to sit through this, then say at the end: "Next time, dear, I'd like to choose the movie." If it's that bad, she might even agree with you.

Either way, put up with it. Happy wife, happy life. :P
I'd advise you to sit through this, then say at the end: "Next time, dear, I'd like to choose the movie." If it's that bad, she might even agree with you.

Either way, put up with it. Happy wife, happy life. :P
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