The Intern (2015)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 2 Average: 4/5]
Directed By: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Adam Devine
The Intern is a story of an unlikely friendship formed between two people generations apart in their lives and life styles. The Intern brings out beautifully the differences in their characters and also how both compliment each other. It has a certain charm and demeanor which makes it genuinely enjoyable.
The Intern begins with Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) a retired widower, bored for the lack of action, applying for a job at About the Fit. It is a fast growing e-commerce fashion startup founded by its CEO Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Ben applies for the Senior Intern Program and gets selected by bowling over everyone, gets hired to report to Jules herself. Ben initially frozen out one by one wins over everyone and comes under the radar of Jules. He slowly moves up the ladder from a desk cleaner to a driver to the marketing assistant who advises Jules on strategy of the business. Jules has a perfect family (or so it seems) with a stay at home husband/dad Matt (Anders Holm) and a daughter Paige (Jojo Kushner). But her perfect family is slowly and steadily falling apart due to Jules’ passion and commitment to her company. The rest of the story forms the answer to the age old question “Can women have it All?”
The Intern is a sweet story of Ben and Jules’s friendship- how they bond over work with Jules overcoming her apprehensions and Ben becoming indispensable to her. The two characters are poles apart but the basis of the relationship is based on mutual respect. For Ben its a leap of faith when he tries to prove his caliber to Jules and for Jules it happens by making mistakes and learning from them. The Intern brings out the characteristics of the age beautifully: the pluses and the minuses and makes a it a feel good watch.
Ben Whittaker is a genuinely good guy, who is willing to make new friends irrespective of the age. He is not grumpy as people his age are often stereotyped to be but has a vast amount of experience of life. Ben is the guy who knows the importance of carrying a handkerchief (helping Jason to calm his girlfriend) or how to dress to impress (the Jay Z parcel delivery). But he is loyal to Jules and behind that calm demeanor he is a risk taker unlike his millennial co workers (evidenced by the burglary of the laptop). He is the friendly neighborhood coworker to whom everyone goes asking for help. His limitation is the technology as he has worked his entire life overseeing printing of phone books which are now obsolete. He doesn’t know Facebook or Twitter but he is willing to learn whatever he can.
On the other hand is Jules- she embodies today’s generation of hipsters: relentless, focused and workaholic. She is a beacon for women empowerment breaking all the glass ceilings as she encounters them. She is passionate about her work and has an immense drive to succeed. I like the fact that she isn’t shown as a bitchy, hardened, don’t-care-about-anybody, conniving villain-type boss: she is polite and though aloof, is basically a good person. She like the generation today has a problem listening to others and is not always open to suggestions from others. She lives and breathes in a shell called “About the Fit”. Initially she has apprehensions with Ben with him being characterized by her as too observant and transferring him to another department.
But Jules needs him, she needs the experience and guidance from a guy who has done it all and lived it all. He is the father figure she looks up to when she isn’t sure of her decisions (though all her nervousness and indecisions do feel a bit contrived and unnecessary at times). And for Ben she gives a purpose, a drive for the post retirement life. Possibly a daughter he never had, who he would parent and guide and help out when in need.
There are supporting characters who have done a wonderful job like Fiona (Rene Russo) as the official masseuse and love interest of Ben. Her and Ben’s is a cute little love story shows there is still life after retirement. Then there is Jason (Adam Devine) who is mentored by Ben to woo Becky (Christina Scherer).
The Intern directed by Nancy Meyers (What women Want, The Parent Trap) is good for major part when it explores the friendship between Ben and Jules but become a sagging emotional drama at the end when Jules tries to save her marriage (highlighting the fact that women can’t really have it all- either choose careers or choose families girls!). Its a feel good movie about friendship and leaves you with a smile on your face.