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The Intern

Coming Soon

Robert De Niro’s career has spanned an impressive 50 years and, after playing every type of role imaginable, it seems that he can still find ways to surprise us. His latest work, The Intern, has De Niro playing widower Ben Whittaker who has become bored with his mundane retired life and is seeking some sort of purpose to assist him in feeling whole again. An opportunity arises for him to take on a challenge totally outside of his element, as well as comfort zone. A position opens up for senior interns (ages 65 and up) in a blossoming fashion e-commerce company. Its founder is Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) who is very hands-on with the day-to-day operations. She’s poured her heart and soul into this successful company while also attempting to balance her family life as a wife and a mother. If anyone could use a little assistance in life it’s Jules.
The Intern is written and directed by the very talented Nancy Meyers who seems to work by quality, not quantity. This is her first piece of work since 2009 and yet she seems very in tune with what moviegoers want in today’s experiences. Casting Robert De Niro and Rene Russo brings years of experience to the screen. Anne Hathaway is on the younger side of the spectrum as far as age but not experience. She is very much a seasoned veteran by today’s standards and is typically a joy to watch on screen. Finally we have our lesser-knowns, yet not unknowns, who can easily appeal to today’s younger generation. This group includes Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect), Zack Pearlman, Christina Scherer and Jason Orley. Nancy Meyers does a good job using these various pieces creating a very nice change of pace throughout this comedy.
As Robert De Niro has gracefully gained years of experience, he’s seemed to have found a very nice home in the comedy genre along the way. The Intern is the latest example of this fact. Who knew this former wiseguy would come to be a grantor of giggles versus the harbinger of doom that he was most famous for early on in his career? His role as a new fresh intern at the age of 70 ends up being a very good fit for him. Ben (De Niro) brings a sense of style, proper manners and a work ethic that has never been witnessed, let alone experienced by the current workforce at Jules’ (Hathaway) company. In addition to his professional value, Ben soon becomes the emotional crutch that Jules has been missing in her life. They soon find that each needs the other in order to become the best people they can be.
Ben helps Jules in both her professional and private life while Jules reinvigorates Ben to the point that he begins to take pleasure in the daily activities of life once again. This even includes his private life when a fondness is developed in his workplace for the in-house masseuse, Fiona (Rene Russo). Even with all of the comedic moments throughout The Intern, there are some serious issues that are dealt with that may or may not tug at the heartstrings a bit. Jules ends up with family problems due to the fact that she works so much. Her husband Matt (Anders Holm) sacrificed his career to stay home with their daughter, Paige (JoJo Kushner). The extra strain on their “ships passing in the night” relationship has some serious consequences.
The story that The Intern tells is that of a modern day successful woman who still has to deal with the daily struggles that come with being a working spouse/parent. It also tells the story of a man who is searching to find meaning and purpose in life after marriage and a career. The lessons to be learned by watching (and laughing) at this movie are valuable ones. The cast has good chemistry and the overall likability should have a broad reach across different demographics. The Intern is not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination but it is enjoyable enough to make it a worthwhile day or night out to the theater.

The Intern is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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