Let’s face it, business is changing and in all honesty, not really for the better. Of course everyone is absolutely thrilled with 2-day delivery from Prime or having about one to a billion of these different subscription box websites that will deliver something to your door every single month. (Yeah, every word in that sentence contains one of those kind of sites…) It is simply us humans finding ways to save time or energy. Ever noticed how many “time saving” devices and sites we have, but for some reason we have less time than ever?
Now I’m not blaming e-commerce for anything. I’m blaming us lazy humans, but you know what? That’s OKAY! Be as lazy as you would like to be and enjoy all the benefits modern society offers you. I sure know I do. Hell, I work for an e-commerce site and I couldn’t be happier. Today’s rant (I think I’m supposed to review a movie too) isn’t about e-commerce business changes, but just setting the scene for a cute movie with two very likable and talented actors.
The Intern quickly showcases the best case scenario for retirement. Well, the best case scenario for any man is actually being Robert De Niro, but since we don’t have any Malkovich like shenanigans available, we’ll have to settle for retiring, hopefully, as his character does. Ben (De Niro’s character) has no serious health issues, a beautiful home, airline miles to go anywhere, and showcases some pretty badass tai chi. Of course there have to be holes in his life: he lost his wife and has the general feeling of something missing in his retired life. Enter the “Senior Internship Program” for a successful e-commerce apparel company.
First of all, it was a damn delight seeing De Niro act in a manner different from his typical roles. There wasn’t the silliness of Meet the Parents, stress of Silver Linings Playbook, or even the early hard ass years of Goodfellas. He just plays the man everyone wishes were in their life. If this is anything like De Niro’s real personality, then he’s one of the best humans on Earth.
Next we have Anne Hathaway being quirky, cute, and solid as ever. I really enjoyed her character as she definitely showcased powerful women in the workplace without her having to result to being evil. It was so refreshing to see, I almost missed the fact that the filmmakers were actually trying to make her an intolerable busy mess without a heart, but I guess Miss Hathaway just can’t be an awful person for very long. Hell, she even went and made a sentimental Catwoman and that’s a tall order. Or maybe I was just distracted by her performance. Eh, whatever it was, her acting clearly bucked the writing she was given.
It’s really the pairing of the two actors that works extremely well in this film. Not only does the whole movie revolve around a traditional businessman working with an e-commerce tycoon, but it’s really excellent to see the more experienced De Niro play off the younger Hathaway and vice versa. There is no other way this could have come about with the premise of the film, but they certainly gelled together well and, for the most part, holds this entire movie together. That and an amazingly hilarious scene with De Niro and three other young interns taking on a ridiculous “heist-like” adventure.
There is also a lot of commentary on the changes to modern society. Women as executives, men as house-husbands (favorite line: Hathaway’s character corrects De Niro with “They prefer ‘Stay-at-Home-Dads'”), open workplaces, everything “vintage” being cool (De Niro’s briefcase) and typical young men and women having no clue how to interact outside of academia. It’s a real motif throughout the film that explains how all these twenty-somethings went to amazing colleges and have incredible degrees or something, but De Niro’s character has to use his old school experience and charm in order to clean up simple messes. I get it, guys dress weird nowadays and women are unfortunately relegated to lesser positions in the workforce, but you don’t have to beat me over the head with it in every scene.
The film has a beautiful core story and an excellent pairing of main characters, but throws in an extra sub-plot that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the movie. I really feel those scenes took away from an otherwise great experience. Basically, I just wanted to see more of Hathaway and De Niro and I don’t believe anyone would argue with me on that.
True to form in most soft comedies these days, there are no real stakes here. Other writers might have taken darker chances with some of the characters and pushed the line on the weaker sub-plot, but frankly I’m glad they didn’t do that. It was fine as it was, but really it’s just harmless and relaxing cinema.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
De Niro and Hathaway are a pair that should do everything they can to work together more often. It’s a perfect date movie. Even a family will enjoy this one. It’ll make everyone laugh and you’ll enjoy the vast majority of the film, regardless of a oddly placed sub-plot. Check it out on Blu-Ray or Digital. It’s an enjoyable viewing.
-Darkmovienight (Oh and happy Batman Day 2015!)