InterncoverGrade: B
Entire family: No
2015, 121 min., Color
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language
Warner Bros.
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Featured audio: DTS-HDMA 5.1
Bonus features: C+
Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD
Trailer
Amazon link

What goes around, comes around. In The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Anne Hathaway played an assistant to an intimidating boss, but in The Intern, a 2015 indie comedy (that’s more fairly called a “dramedy”), SHE’S the intimidating boss. And the poor beleaguered assistant trying to deal with her? None other than veteran screen tough guy Robert De Niro, who plays a 70-year-old widower looking to fill the emptiness in his life and thinking a pilot senior internship program at a new-but-rocking Internet clothing business might be just the ticket.

For an indie film, that’s pretty high-concept, and director Nancy Meyers (The Holiday, It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give) gives Hathaway and De Niro plenty of time for their relationship to simmer away—so much so, in fact, that you’d almost expect a December-May romance to develop. But to the credit of Meyers, who also wrote the script, that doesn’t happen. We also don’t get a heavy-handed allegory about how useful seniors are, though that’s certainly obvious from their interaction. The Intern may have a gimmicky premise, but Meyers lets her two stars do all the heavy lifting. And you know what? They’re fun to watch. You know what’s going to happen from the outset, and it does. But there are also moments where you go, “Huh, I didn’t see that coming.”

Like Fiona (Rene Russo), a massage therapist who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, or an apparent second-in-command (Adam DeVine) who’d do the same if he knew what that was. Or Matt (Anders Holm), Hathaway’s character’s husband, who gives up a successful career to let his even more successful wife launch her dream company.

InternscreenPredictably, the CEO and the intern she’s forced to take on follow an arc that goes from “I don’t need you” to “I can’t live without you,” but it’s everything else in between that offers unexpected pleasures and delights. There’s some clever dialogue, too, as when Ben (De Niro) tells Jules (Hathaway), “You’re never wrong for doing the right thing,” and she responds, “That’s great. Who said that?” Ben responds, “I did. But I’m sure Mark Twain said it before that.”

The Intern is rated for “some suggestive content and brief strong language,” but really it’s a pretty upbeat and positive film that mostly keeps any unwholesome moments off-camera. There are three exceptions: the use of the “f-word,” an implication that a man is getting an erection (because someone helps him cover it up), and a woman who drinks too much throwing up in a trash can. But honestly, the whole trajectory of this film is so positive that those few moments (the latter of which can be seen as a cautionary tale) really don’t amount to much. The Intern, however, does. It’s fun watching Ben “get back into the game,” never too forceful but always managing to do and say the right things. He’s as intuitive and resourceful as MacGyver, without all the gadgets.

Our family of adults and teens agreed that it was a solid B. Maybe even a B+. It all depends on how much you like Hathaway and De Niro, and we liked them a lot in this engaging comedy with dramatic moments.

Language: Three instances of the “f” word and a few minors
Sex: That one implied erection incidence
Violence: n/a
Adult situations: An old woman flips someone off, and there is drinking (and from-a-distance puking)
Takeaway: Two pros can make just about any premise work. Make that three pros, counting Meyers. 

Advertisements