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The Intern Review (2015)

Not every film can be a massive blockbuster. I get that. Like everyone else, I get sick of the world being on the line ever week in different universes, or more likely nowadays in the same universe. So I have nothing against smaller stories where not that much is on the line. Instead of panicking that everything is about to go wrong, it’s nice to go on a ride with a couple of characters for the sake of enjoyment. So instead of the everything being on the line, it will hopefully be a couple of hours enjoyment as look into the world of The Intern.

After becoming bored of his retirement, Ben (Robert De Niro, Goodfellas) decides to apply for an internship at an online fashion company. And while she does not like the idea, the owner Jules (Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables) agrees to take Ben on as her intern as she considers whether or not to allow someone else to take ownership of her start up.

Straight up, this film never aims to be the greatest film ever. It doesn’t want to be ground breaking, it never aims to be revolutionary. All it wants to do is give you a bit of entertainment for two hours and not be massively irritating. And in fairness, it does that. It successfully creates a light tone which allows you to slump in your sofa and enjoy what’s going off on screen. Every actor looks like they are enjoying themselves too, with the likes of Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway exuding an easy chemistry which this film lives on. If it wasn’t for these two great actors, this film would fall right out of the gates. But thanks to the calm way they play their roles, you can just relax into the movie like a warm bath.

But this light tone does work against it at times as well. This movie does deal with some more serious themes at the end like dealing with the death of your wife and the fact a spouse is cheating on you. As the director Nancy Meyers (The Holiday) never really lowers this light tone, you are never really worried about that anything bad will happen to these characters. I get that this is a low stakes film where nothing major happens, but I can’t get invested if I don’t think anything bad will happen ever to these characters.

The main narrative of the film is that Jules is overworked and that she is considering getting a new CEO so she can spend more time with family. Ok it’s clichéd but this is usually a story done with men and it is a low stakes film, so it’s acceptable. But the weird thing is how this film tries to pack in a lot of plot threads which don’t really go anywhere. Jules have issues with her parents, a tired but solid sub plot, but about from a weird out of nowhere scene where Ben and the other interns raid their house to delete an e-mail, nothing really happens with it. It’s a weird little tidbit that does nothing but extend the film’s length which at two hours long, it doesn’t need.

And all the characters are just so horrendously perfect. I know you’ve heard this a million times before, probably from me, but what makes a character interesting is not their strengths but their weaknesses. Ben however is an angel. He’s nice, he’s wise, every idea he has is the best idea you’ve ever have, everyone at the fashion company loves him, women want to be with him and men want to be him. If this was written by an elderly man this would be the new definition of a Mary Sue. Other characters have minor flaws, but nothing you can’t flick your hair over and completely get over in ten minutes.

Look, this film isn’t really that bad despite the fact I have tore it a new one in the last couple of paragraphs. That is an issue, it never really tries to be anything as that was it’s intention. And that makes this film rather throwaway. I’m writing this review a day on from watching it and I am struggling to recall the details. I can remember the bizarre house breaking scene, but other than that? Not much. This has been one of my toughest reviews because there is so little to write about as this film fails to try to do anything special. Heck, I’m only putting this sentence in the review because I want to get to over 800 words and I probably won’t if I don’t this.

Not every film has to be massive and give us a big lesson, but it has to do something. The Intern may have some easy chemistry between the cast in it’s favour, but it lacks any reason to stick around. I’m sure your grandparents may like it and if you want to see Anne Hathaway in a load of increasingly pretty clothes, you might get something out of it. But for me, I’m going to struggle to remember it beyond the weekend.