Tuesday, October 6, 2015

[Review] The Intern

Previews for The Intern conveyed a film of light fare with a charming cast in Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway (yes, I like Anne hathaway), and that's exactly what it is--just as advertised.

Dan (De Niro), our main character, opens the film with a touching monologue about getting old--whether it's doing things to keep busy, witnessing more funerals of friends than you want to, and attempting to fill in any holes within your life. He decides to apply for an internship at a fashion company run by Jules (Hathaway). The geriatric jokes start flying as they ask him questions: "What did you major in, do you remember?" "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" Anyway, he lands the internship, and despite being triple the age of most of his counterparts, he becomes a productive and integral part of the group.

But here's the thing--What exactly are the stakes? Are we going to be devastated if he doesn't get hired? And if he does get hired, is it going to be that much of surprise? This is the problem the film has. While enjoyable, it doesn't really go anywhere. It mostly comes down to whether or not Dan finds whatever purpose he's seeking out. That's all fine and dandy, but in this situation it's a pretty thin narrative stretched over two hours. You get the feeling that you could step away for a chunk of the film and you wouldn't really miss anything of major significance.

The film does deliver a few delightful moments though, especially as Dan takes on a fatherly bond the younger people. As far as De Niro's performance, we all know he can be 'tough guy' and 'scary guy', but it's nice to see him in vulnerable roles like this as well. Anne Hathaway is perfectly likable here. Seriously, is there a legit reason why so many people on the Internet express disdain for her? So, it's all the better that she plays a glass ceiling smashing CEO in this story.

As expected, the film brings on some sweetness toward its clumsy and unfocused ending, but it's just too long of a process to get there.


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