InternshipcoverGrade:  B
Entire family:  No
2013, 119 min., Color
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partying, crude humor, and language
Twentieth Century Fox
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Featured audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Includes:  Blu-ray, DVD, UV copy
Bonus features:  C-
Trailer

Watching The Internship, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was reliving Stripes all over again—only instead of Bill Murray and Harold Ramis as the laid-back, unconventional “leaders” of a bunch of misfits we get Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. And instead of Army basic training exercises as the main plot structure, it’s a series of internship challenges to see which group gets offered permanent jobs at Internet giant Google. There’s even a disapproving authority figure (Aasif Mandvi as Mr. Chetty) that’s every bit as ubiquitous as Sgt. Hulka, and a raunchy club scene where the tech geeks get drunk and bond like the men in khaki.

I realize that my first paragraph will be enough to convince many families that this movie isn’t right for them, and as PG-13 movies go it feels borderline. While there’s no nudity as there is in Stripes, the theatrical version of The Internship does have pole dancing. For some families, that will be a  reason to stay clear. Be warned too that there is nudity and plenty of F-bombs on the unrated version that’s also provided on this combo pack, so make sure you select the right one. The theatrical version has sexuality, partying, some crude humor, and language—though it all seems less offensive because the focus is on the comedy that derives from two “old guys” trying to compete with a younger, tech-savvy generation.  

Given the two stars and the fish-out-of-water premise, I thought The Internship could have been funnier and I considered it a B-, but I was outvoted. My family, which includes a 15-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, thought it was a solid B+.  That makes it a B, in my book.

InternshipscreenIf you’ve seen the trailer you know the basic plot:  two manufacturer’s reps for watches who live and die by the schmooze are told their company is kaput, that they’re dinosaurs in a world where people go online to learn what to buy—not being wined and dined by two guys who try to get them to place a big order. So Billy (Vaughn) signs up him and his buddy Nick (Wilson) for an internship interview with Google, circumventing a little problem about needing to be college students by also registering them at the all-online University of Phoenix.

Once they’re in San Francisco and check out Google headquarters the sideplots also kick in:  Nick is attracted to a workaholic employee (Rose Byrne), a fellow intern (Max Minghella) makes his disdain for them public-clear, and a choose-your-own-group moment leads to the banding together of those who weren’t selected. Joining the two “grandpas” are team leader Lyle (Josh Brener), the anti-social Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), perky Neha (Tiya Sircar), and an Asian man whose bullying mother has made him into a mass of neuroses. Together they will brainstorm—those that have brains—and of course the guys make their unconventional background and lack of tech skills work for them at Google.

If there’s a movie with greater positive product placement than this one, I can’t recall it. Google comes across as heaven-on-earth, the best employer of all-time and a place where dedicated workers believe they are helping to make the average person’s life better. If you’re sensitive to such things, you’ll probably break out in hives watching The Internship. It was actually filmed at the Google campus in Mountain View, California, and just the free food in the cafeteria and giant slide ought to be enough to get them a thousand times more internship applications than they received before the film hit theaters this summer.

Is it family friendly? Yes, if you have older teens, maybe  if you’re liberal about letting your 12 or 13 year olds watch films with language, drinking, and sexuality in it. But as I said, since the main plot revolves around a group of misfits competing against teams of more qualified people, The Internship almost feels like a franker, live-action version of Monsters University.

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