This should really be a pretty short review. I could actually simply say that if you’ve seen the trailers for The Intern, you pretty well know where this movie is going. An older man (Robert De Niro in complete cuddly mode) is taken on as an intern to internet start-up president Anne Hathaway, and hilarity ensues.
Well, not hilarity, exactly. One positive move the movie makes is gracefully eliding over the usual “old guy has no idea about modern technology” cliche. As a matter of fact, it instead uses De Niro’s character Ben’s 40 years of business experience in very positive ways. Actually, instead of “hilarity”, I’d say insert “cuteness”, because that’s really the best word to sum up this movie: cute.
Yeah, really, it’s mostly a little piece of fluff, though there is a third act turn that gives it a bit more substance than that, and keeps it from being completely by the numbers.
Also, I should give shout outs to the supporting cast here. All of the characters, while taking on familiar could-have-been-cookie-cutter roles, bring just enough spark and wit (and, at appropriate times seriousness) to their roles to keep them from being completely two-dimensional. Of course, a lot of the credit for that also has to go to Director/Writer/Producer Nancy Meyers who brings just the right touch to the film to keep it from becoming overly saccharine. Also, I should give the film extra points for allowing Rene Russo to be extremely sexy while allowing her also to act her age.
Yeah, in the end, there’s really nothing new to see here, but there doesn’t always need to be, does there? Sometimes it’s enough just to have a film that delivers a good way to pass a couple of hours in the theater without having to be world changing or full of explosions, or what have you. Nor does it have to rely on crude humor to save it from dumb writing.
And hey. there’s even a heist in the middle of it.
So go ahead, see the intern. Let yourself be charmed. And who knows, maybe, like my 15-year-old daughter who wanted to see the movie because of Hathaway and who wouldn’t know De Niro from any other older actor, you’ll come away saying “I want him for a grandfather.”
Hmmm… Yeah, maybe I should hold off just a bit on showing her Taxi Driver.