Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro are both well established, award winning actors with a series of popular films under their belts. Surely, a film with them both in is a recipe for success?
Bored with retirement, 70 year old widower Ben Wittaker (De Niro) applies for a senior internship with a successful online shopping site run by Jules Ostin (Hathaway).
The Intern starts as a fun film, not a million miles away from the likes of It’s Complicated. In a world full of interns, the idea of having a senior citizen as an intern is laughable to many, but actually makes a lot of sense. Why teach someone straight out of school/university, when you can learn from someone with decades of experience? This film makes that point and does it really well. While everyone laughs at the beginning, everyone in the office soon loves Ben and is coming to him for advice – much like that Grandad everyone loves to talk to. Despite be renowned for being a grumpy old man, De Niro plays the friendly gentleman – with an obligatory wicked streak – quite well.
Anne Hathaway almost takes on the role of Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada – though much, much kinder. There is something about Hathaway that makes her appear to be the kindest woman in Hollywood (or maybe that’s just what good acting is!). Having stepped away from the light comedies of her past for the more Oscar-bait type films, it’s nice to see her back in a role which brought her attention in the first place.
While the cast and original story idea was a good one, the film got quite muddled towards the end with the addition of plot points which really weren’t necessary. In a film which should have been concentrating on the relationship between Ben and Jules, and what they could be learning from each other, there was no need to delve into Jules’ family life.
More than anything, it’s the last ten minutes of The Intern which really lets it down. As far as I’m concerned, and I am not putting this lightly, it is utter balls! For the entire film, Jules, whilst not being the most organised, is depicted as a strong female character. She has built her company from nothing and did in nine months what she expected to do in five years – she’s not exactly a pushover. This is all completely thrown out the window when her husband comes begging for forgiveness for having an affair. Instead of saying “No. If you’re so insecure about me having a high flying job, you can go back to your floozy and jog on.”, she grasps his hand, smiles and says everything will be fine.
Had this been a romantic comedy, or something like that, I would have rolled my eyes but accepted it because that’s the sort of smooshy crap rom-com peddle. But not this. This just left me annoyed (if you could tell…). And then, for some reason, Ben takes a random day off – even though he’d already gone to the office – and goes back to doing Tai-Chi. No idea why, that bit lost me!
The Intern could have been a funny and fresh film, had it stuck to a simple and straight forward plot. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this film. Aside from the final ten minutes, I was actually enjoying it! Maybe save a trip to the cinema and wait for when it comes out on DVD.
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