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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Intern | Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway, Anders Holm, JoJo Kushner | Review

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn

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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD

 

The Intern

Writer/director Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated), is known for her non offensive, cutesy, adult comedies.  Once again she delivers the goods with her latest feature film, the workplace dramedy, The Intern, starring Oscar winners Robert DeNiro and decades younger Anne Hathaway in a charming story that bridges the generation gap.

The tagline for the film is “Experience never get old”  which comes into play throughout the storyline.  DeNiro plays Ben Whittacker, a 70 year old Brooklyn widower, and retired businessman who has tried everything to stay busy, including learning Mandarin, doing Yoga and making daily visits to Starbucks since his wife died three years earlier. Yet, he is still looking to fill a hole in his life and feel needed.  Yearning to get back into the work force, he applies for and lands a job at an online women's fashion company called “About the Fit” as part of their senior intern program. Soon after arriving,  Ben is assigned to be personal intern for the company's founder and CEO, Jules Ostin (Hathaway) a workaholic who is overwhelmed by the demands of her job that she has little time left for her stay at home husband Matt (Anders Holm) and their adorable, curly haired daughter, Paige (JoJo Kushner)

At first, Jules rejects the idea of being given an intern which she thinks is unecessary, but he soon becomes a welcome addition to her team, by being resourceful, showing up early to clean a mess of piles off an office desk, taking over as her driver and offering much needed advice.   Eventually, Jules can't help but let her guard down after accepting the fact that something about him makes her feel calm and centered. They begin to bond and she starts to see Ben as a loyal and trusted friend whose valuable wisdom and experience has a positive influence on her employees in their 20s, and having a major impact on Jule's own work and personal life.

What makes it all work is the great, natural chemistry between DeNiro and Hathaway. While I have enjoyed DeNiro's most recent, more broader, comedic peformances in films like Meet the Parents and its sequels, here DeNiro tones it down a notch, turning in an understated, effective portrayal of a real, genuine person with old school smarts.  As the kind, mild mannered, likable, senior Intern, he hits just the right chord and delivers his best performance in years. You can't help but find him endearing. Although it isn't much of a stretch for the actess, Hathaway also does an admirable job as the high powered professional who wants to have it all. Meanwhile, Fiona (Rene Russo) the company's attractive 50ish in house masseus catches Ben's attention and becomes his romantic interest.

There are a fair share of touching as well as comical moments and I am thrilled to report no dropping of F bombs or crude language. The only bone I have to pick is a humorous, but implausible heist sequence. After Jules accidently sends an email about her caustic mom to her mom, Ben leads several of his young coworkers on a mission to break into Jule's mother's house to steal her computer and delete the email before she returns. The sequence is totally unnecessary, adds nothing to the story, and should have been cut from the film.

All things considered, The Intern is a sweet, feel good movie, where old school meets new school.  I like that it addresses several issues: the value of and respect for seniors, feeling needed, the struggle for hard working wives and mothers who want to have it all, and finding the right balance in one's life.  Adult audiences also have a need for intelligent comedies that are too few and far between.  I am delighted to report the Intern does the job.

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