Director: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Anders Holm, Rene Russo, Adam Devine, JoJo Kushner, Andrew Rannells, Zack Pearlman, Christina Scherer
Finding that retirement is, well, boring, Ben (De Niro) applies for a senior internship program at About the Fit, an e-commerce business run by Jules (Hathaway). Ben is assigned to Jules, and soon realises that she’s overworked and stressed out. At first reticent, Jules comes to see that Ben is having a positive effect on the company, and is the person she turns to when there’s turmoil in her professional life and her personal life.
The screen pairing of Hathaway and De Niro works really well. The two of them have good chemistry. Ben is the calm, experienced centre while Jules is a little manic and torn every way. Meyers does something clever with this film, tackling ageism and sexism in one fell swoop. Ben is shown to be a valuable asset to the company, bringing a good attitude and a lifetime of business experience to the role, while Jules is a hardworking woman who has built up the company, and yet also finds a way to be a mother and a wife…or does she?
This is where the film stumbles. Meyers addresses the modern way of living as Matt (Jules’ husband) is a stay-at-home dad. If you don’t want to be spoiled at all then skip the following paragraph.
Still with me? Okay, you were fairly warned. A major plot point revolves around Matt cheating on Jules. I liked the way her reaction was handled, in that she was willing to try and work on it and give it another chance, yet the reasons for the infidelity felt inserted into the film to make a point. It’s basically said that Matt did it because he was losing his identity as a man and the roles became blurred, but the impression I got from watching the film is that it was just because he was neglected (not that I’m condoning infidelity at all).
But aside from that slight misstep I enjoyed The Intern a lot. The character interplay is good, it has that sweet, feel-good feeling and yet deals with serious issues that are common in the workplace, but in its treatment of Ben and Jules its a film that feels like it’s one step ahead of most of Hollywood. So while the film does stumble a little in the final third, it the two leads manage to keep it from floundering and I enjoyed it quite a bit.