Director: Nancy Meyers
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Stars: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Jojo Kushner, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman
Running Time: 121 Minutes
Is this trying Robert De Niro or lazy Robert De Niro?
I’m not someone familiar with Nancy Meyers’ previous work but surprisingly, the trailer for this film actually charmed me. Not enough to check it out in cinemas but I wanted to see it. The film is about a widower and retired senior, Ben (Robert De Niro), who’s bored of being alone at home. He sees a flyer from an internet company asking for senior interns and so he decides it might be good for him. He does great with the interviews and gets the job. He then gets assigned as the assistant to Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), head of the company. She’s very stressed with all the workload and so she doesn’t always get along with people. Despite her prickly personality, Ben is always being nice and he starts to break through her barriers and his unrealistic optimism sparks a friendship between the two unlikely friends, eventually. There’s a lot of forced resistance from her. At the same time, Ben finds him self stricken by another older worker at the company, Fiona (Rene Russo), and so we have a romantic sub-plot because Nancy Meyers realised Robert De Niro dating Anne Hathaway would be a little… yeah.
This film is very by the numbers. It’s not a film you expect to win any Oscars and its got plenty of cheese. There’s nothing you wouldn’t expect in this film. It does some interesting things like talking a bit about sexism through the struggles Jules goes through in her job but it’s all surface. It never delves deep into anything important, but you know what, it doesn’t need to. Sometimes, it’s okay to just be simple entertainment, as long as it is entertaining. The film is fluffy fun and it’s got plenty of heart in both the writing and the loveable performances. Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro are both great in the lead roles and surprisingly, this is a film where De Niro is actually trying. He is obviously enjoying himself in this film. The chemistry the two have is also impressive and they did genuinely have me smiling a few times watching this film. I also feel the excitement from the actors in the smaller roles who are obviously starstruck working with the legend that is Robert De Niro. It just makes the film that much more enjoyable to watch.
Talking about the supporting cast, Adam DeVine plays one of the younger workers and he didn’t annoy me like he usually does. The film does have a very hipster attitude as well. Everyone under the age of 30 is a hipster. While I understand that would probably irritate some people who aren’t a fan of those kinds of people, that wasn’t an issue for me. While it’s utterly unrealistic and airy, I cared about all the characters in the film. The film is also a love letter to the older generation. There’s the line that was in the trailer where Hathaway says “how did we in one generation, go from people like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to [looks at the hipster guys”. It’s a nice sentiment and a little funny because you can tell she would have said Robert De Niro if he wasn’t standing there right next to her being a guy called Ben. While I enjoy this film and its heart, I can’t give it too much praise because in the end, it’s a fluffy, fake and unrealistically optimistic movie that’s really just there for people who aren’t looking for anything serious.
Summary: It’s silly, surface and unimportant, but The Intern is an undeniably entertaining film that is sure to make you smile. De Niro and Hathaway are both enjoying themselves and it’s plenty infectious.
Best Performance: Robert De Niro
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%