121 Min. | Comedy | October 2015
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Director: Nancy Meyers
Staring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo
The Intern Review: Sometimes you don’t need a film to try and change the world, make bold political or societal statements or even be shocking. Sometimes it’s good enough to be an audience member who can just sit back, relax and enjoy the show and smile. That’s the kind of movie you get when you sit down to enjoy “The Intern”. Robert DeNiro plays the title character, a retired 70 year-old widower who has become bored with his life. After 40 years in the business of printing telephone books and then losing his beloved wife of 42 years, he did his best to adjust to his new life, and it worked – for a while. He traveled the world and engaged in a wide variety of physical and intellectual pursuits to keep himself occupied, but it wasn’t enough. When walking the streets of his native Brooklyn, he sees a flyer for a senior intern program at a young, but burgeoning internet clothing company.
In The Intern, Ben ends up working directly for the company’s very capable, but over-extended founder, played by Anne Hathaway. The senior intern program was her idea, but Jules is initially hesitant to deal with Ben personally on a daily basis. She’s a perfectionist who’s constantly on the go. She’s difficult to work for and she knows it. She loves and respects all 220 of her employees, but her motto might as well be “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Yet, it’s hard to resist Ben’s earnestness, strong work ethic and wise, calming presence. After a little awkwardness as Ben and Jules both try to figure out how he can best serve his new boss, he ends up becoming her driver. In this capacity, he gets to know Jules’ stay-at-home husband (Anders Holm), their precocious, but adorable young daughter (JoJo Kushner) and, most importantly, Jules herself, in all her earnestness, anxiety and vulnerability.
Ben is at the story’s center, but it’s the great mix of interesting characters and subplots that makes The Intern so worthwhile. DeNiro has rarely been more pleasant to watch, or Hathaway so winning, as they lead an ensemble cast that complements each other wonderfully. Nancy Myers’ amusing and purposeful script and direction highlight the virtues of women making the most of their lives, but never hits us over the head with her message. Jules is simply a modern woman who’s very likable and subtly inspiring. A scene in which some of Jules’ employees break the law to help her with a pressing personal problem is fun, but seems misplaced, and the resolutions to some of the story’s conflicts seem a little trite, but, overall, this is simply a delightful film that I’d recommend to anyone. “The Intern” isn’t perfect, but is definitely worth having around.