The Intern will undoubtably find an audience. I am almost certain about that. This film will probably make a decent enough amount of money at the box-office when it's released. That's not to say I liked it, though. I didn't. But at my screening last night, which was pretty packed, people were bursting with laughter. Not just the odd chuckle here and there, but legitimate laughter. Why? I'm not sure. I guess some people are idiots. Or maybe I'm the idiot? Either way, I have a strong feeling that this movie will go down well with a particular audience, and that I am not one of those people.
We follow the story of a widowed 70 year old named Ben (Robert DeNiro). He's getting bored of retirement, doing the same old thing day in and day out. That's when he finds a flyer advertising a senior intern program at an online clothes shop. Despite knowing next to nothing about technology, he applies, and surprise, surprise.... he makes it. He's assigned to be an intern for Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the company's founder and current CEO, but she's not awfully fond of the idea of an intern program, let alone a senior intern program. But he sticks around, helping out until she finds him something to do.... and that's our movie. That's it. He does intern-y things for her, gets close with her personal life, they start to get along and that's it.
The concept for the film is rather ridiculous, but the movie knows that and it jokes about that. Sure, all of these jokes fall flat, but they're there. As the concept starts to be used in full effect, I found myself getting used to the idea. It's honestly quite an original plot, or at least it was for the first ten minutes or so. The film continues to go on, slowly dragging in more and more clichés and more and more predictable plot-lines until eventually I just didn't care. There's so much going on, but at the same time so little. This film ultimately achieves nothing and ends exactly where you'd expect it to.
One good thing about this movie, however, are the performances from DeNiro and Hathaway. Their chemistry is fantastic, really bringing their performances to life. The characters themselves are ones you've seen in seven thousand (give or take) other movies, but this doesn't stop the performances from being as good as they are. DeNiro brings humour to everything, as well as a certain lovability. The Intern is definitely a likeable movie. It's just not a good one.
I've only seen one of Nancy Myer's previous directorial efforts, but if her other films are anything like The Intern, I don't think they're for me. Her screenplay is lazy, bringing in the charm, but not the humour, and certainly not an engaging plot. It's quite the opposite. 95% of the jokes don't hit, which is rather unfortunate seeings as how the ones that do are legitimately hilarious. There's an excellent scene in which Robert DeNiro has to break into someone's house to delete an email from their computer and it's easily the best scene in the whole film. The Intern needed more of that and less of Anne Hathaway's daughter.
When we finally get to the third act after a tiresome first two, I didn't find myself at all invested in the story at hand. It's repetitive, unoriginal and incorporates way too many irrelevant plots. It runs out of steam.... big time. So much so that the final few minutes doesn't seem to really care about these characters whatsoever. The relationships built up to this point are thrown out the window, characters occasionally referenced in passing, but nothing really being wrapped up. Experience may never get old, but this film certainly did.
To sum up, The Intern is a tiresome bore with jokes that fall flat 95% of the time. The ones that do work work unbelievably well, but they're far and in-between, and it's certainly not worth staying around for. This comes out the same day as The Martian. See that instead.
2 1/2 Stars