"It's Times Like These You Need Someone You Can Rely On. So Thank You."
Unfortunately, without these two stars anchoring the film, it would be easy to see how everything in this film could fall flat. I compared De Niro to Mary Poppins earlier, and the more I think about it the more “The Intern” follows that film's structure; “magical” being enters the life of a stuck-up businesswoman, teaches her children (read “interns”) how to pick up after themselves and gets her a step closer to finding personal happiness. The problem with this is, Robert De Niro is not actually a witch posing as an intern. He’s just a guy. So his solutions, while myriad and sound, have to be grounded in reality, as does the rest of the plot, which gets muddier and muddier as the film continues. Meyers’ movies tend to have at least one plot thread involving a strong woman whose husband gets intimidated and either leaves or cheats on her, and “The Intern” (spoilers) is no different. On its face this trope is fine, but it’s becoming so overused in films with female protagonists that it borders on cliché, and the film’s constant focus on Hathaway’s career success at the expense of her family life and the resulting conclusion of the plot thread borders on masturbatory.
There’s a small, sinister undercurrent running through the movie that insists that there’s a “right” way to do things and a “right” way to be, and the way the younger characters flail about and depend on De Niro’s character to set them right makes me think that Meyers has not spoken to anyone under the age of thirty in a very long time (also can we stop shaming the men of today for not being as macho as men fifty years ago? It’s condescending and sexist). The good intentions are there, I can see them so clearly I feel like I could reach out and touch them, but the film isn’t streamlined enough to make them feel real.
“The Intern” is enjoyable enough, probably a good movie to watch with your mom, and you’ll be won over by De Niro’s charm and Hathaway’s soul. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking.
A nice red wine, or spiked coffee. Are you a Jules or a Ben?
-Drink whenever Ben gives someone life advice
-Drink whenever Jules talks about a feminist issue
-Drink whenever the child does something precocious
-Drink whenever someone sends or receives a phone call, email or text
-Drink whenever someone drops a buzzword (there's lots of em).
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "The Intern" was produced by Waverly Films and distributed by Warner Bros. The film is rated "PG-13" with a runtime of 121 minutes.
Special thanks to my patrons Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Caroline Kittridge Faustine and Antonia Beck. Your support helped make this article happen!