by Adam Riske
crashed through my wall of cynicism. It’s a thin wall.
A movie like The Intern
is very easy to take shots at. I wanted to see it and I was still making fun of it. It’s as high-concept as it gets – a senior in life becomes an intern at a hip internet start-up – so much that the jokes write themselves. But the great thing about titan of lifestyle porn Nancy Meyers’ (What Women Want
, Something’s Gotta Give
) new movie is that she totally understands that and still makes a movie that works despite its cutesy, on-the-nose premise. If you’re looking for something with big surprises, this might not be for you. It’s formula filmmaking, professionally done. However, if you are looking for a movie so enjoyable that it wills you to leave the theater with a grin on your face, this might be up your alley. It was for me. I know it’s not a great movie, but I kind of love The Intern
. I will watch it a lot on cable. It’s my Draft Day
If I had to describe The Intern
in one word, that word would be “charming.” This is maybe the most charming movie I’ve seen all year. The experience of watching it is like being mauled by the Snuggles Bear. The charm comes courtesy of great movie star performances by the two leads – Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. They really dive into their roles and give their characters rich inner lives. This is definitely the case where you feel like you’re watching two real people who have lives outside of the events of this movie. I grew to like them and really care about them. De Niro and Hathaway elevate what is actually a pretty good script and land a lot of laughs and smiles in the margins of their lines of dialogue. Their chemistry is great, especially in one scene (at a hotel, on a business trip) where the two share a heart to heart about relationships. It’s an amazing scene filled with laughs and touching honesty. This is not the kind of work that wins Oscars, but it’s almost more impressive than some of those kinds of performances because it reminds you of how integral the right actor can be to bringing stock material to life. When two lead performances are this good, the rest of the movie (especially their co-stars, who are all almost uniformly pleasant) glides on their work. This is old-school entertainment in the same vein as something you’d catch on a lark off Turner Classic Movies.
Before I continue on and possibly convince you that The Intern
is one of my favorite movies of the year (it’s not), let me point out some of the things that didn’t quite work for me. First, it’s very gentrified and incubated from reality. Hardly anyone of non-white denomination seems to work at Hathaway’s company and that’s jarring and weird. Second, Rene Russo wants to bang Robert De Niro and the execution of that is clumsy. Russo’s supporting part as a masseuse who works at the company feels forced and their relationship is poorly developed. A scene of them talking and getting to know each other first might have made their attraction easier to comprehend. Third, the movie has one of the worst closing scenes I can remember. It’s such an un-cinematic shrug that I was kind of left in shock as the credit started to roll. Lastly, a character in this movie makes a decision near the end that is sort of depressing and one that I didn’t agree with. That doesn’t make it bad, exactly (it’s not the movie’s fault that a character does something I didn’t want it to), but it feels like a compromise and an act of defeat from someone we’ve gotten to know like. It’s also weird that the movie keeps saying what a ballbuster Anne Hathaway’s character is supposed to be because she seems totally nice and pleasant to work for. Then again, this is a movie where virtually everyone is a great person, so I guess she’s tough by comparison.
But almost none of those flaws matter to me. The Intern
is so fun and frothy that it even made me look forward to going to work the next day. I love that. Think about all of the office comedies over the years and just about all of them portray working in an office as a soul-sucking enterprise. However, in this movie, being at work is refreshing and exciting; full of community, fun and inspiration. A lot of jobs are like that and I appreciated seeing one depicted on screen. Not all office employees are drones who are miserable at work. In the end, The Intern
was simply a very enjoyable time at the movies and a reminder of just how good Robert De Niro (he’s fully engaged here and seeming to be having a lot of fun) and Anne Hathaway can be as actors and movie stars. It’s almost like these were two actors meant to be in a Nancy Meyers movie and the stars in the movie galaxy aligned and finally made it happen.
As an unemployed person with no current prospects, the last paragraph of your review makes me NOT want to see "The Intern." If I had an office and co-workers to go to everyday I'd probably dig it, but in my current state it'd probably make me cry. :-(ReplyDelete
Hang in there. It'll get better.Delete
That's what she said... several months ago. ;-) Thanks for the kind words. At least I get more "free" time to watch scary movies in October. :'(Delete
Weirdly enough, Adam, I think you might have just sold me on a movie that I didn't even know existed before I read your review. It seems like the kind of movie that's my kryptonite. One that isn't actually good, but portrays the best in people and just makes you feel optimistic. I'm always drawn to that because it's so rare in movies and in entertainment in general.ReplyDelete
Yeah this movie is super nice. It's one of the things that made is so appealing to watch.Delete
You had me at "It's my Draft Day of 2015." I'm also in the boat of knowing that that was not a great movie, but if it's on I will sit and watch it and enjoy it. The trailer for The Intern kind of gave me that same vibe. I already kind of wanted to see it, but now you've convinced me that I definitely need to check it out.ReplyDelete
Draft Day = masterpieceDelete
You keep that Wall of Cynicism thin, Adam. It helps the movie magic get in! I wanted to see this before I read your review, but now I want to see it even more.ReplyDelete
Cool. Let me know what you think :-)Delete
I had the same reaction to the movie; it's entertaining and charming although flawed. De Niro is sincere and Hathaway is relatable. In some ways the movie shares DNA with light comedies from 50-60 years ago. Thanks for the review, Adam.ReplyDelete
Yes. It totally reminded me of an Audrey Hepburn type of movie from the 50s or 60s.Delete
Did you like Morning Glory? I read Patrick like HATED it. I couldn't help but love (love) it even though I usually can't handle Rachel McAdams because she always seems crazy tense, it's annoying. But that fit her character there. Somehow it reminded me of an old type of movie, too.ReplyDelete
I only saw it once when it first came out and remember being a bit disappointed by it. I can easily understand why you would like it though. It's got a same kind of vibe as The Intern.Delete
Thanks :) good vibe!Delete