Most people have been interns in their days of youth, so what happens when someone becomes an intern in the sunset of his life? That is the question the comedy The Intern answers.
Film #11 in the 30 Day Film Challenge, The Intern follows the story of Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a seventy-year-old man who recently lost his wife and feels there is a hole in his life he needs to fill. Thinking the answer may lie in having new experiences, Ben decides to apply for a senior internship at a fashion startup and soon finds himself as an assistant to the company’s founder and CEO, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Wary of her new intern’s abilities, Jules initially keeps her distance from Ben, but when various pressures from work and her personal life crash upon her, Jules realizes that Ben is the only one she can depend on, and the two develop a strong and unlikely bond.
I chose to watch The Intern because I found its premise interesting. Being a recent college graduate, I still clearly remember the days when I was an intern, and I was curious how the film would depict the story of an intern who is not a college student, but an elderly man. After watching the movie’s trailers, I also felt that The Intern would be a light-hearted and uplifting comedy – the perfect thing to watch after a very exhausting day.
While there were some plot points that seemed implausible, like why the fashion company started an internship program for the elderly, The Intern was certainly an entertaining film.The movie also touched on some important topics, such as women’s roles in the workplace and family, which I connected a lot to because I’m a woman. However, the movie didn’t delve deep into those issues. Some critics found the light treatment disappointing, but I thought the treatment was just right – it was enough to get me thinking, but not enough to make the movie too serious. After all, The Intern isn’t meant to be a heavy philosophical examination of the human condition; it is meant to be a light-hearted comedy.
I also loved the relationship that develops between Ben and Jules. While Ben may be the intern and Jules may be his boss in the workplace, we ultimately realize Jules herself is also an intern, an intern in life, and she relies on Ben, her mentor, to teach her how to live and fight life’s struggles. The evolution from an initially cold working relationship to a heartwarming, close friendship was beautiful to watch. Basically, all the relationships that develop in this film, not just Ben and Jules, but also Ben and many other people, are all touching. At the start of the movie, Ben says there’s a hole in his life, which is why he becomes an intern, and at the end of the movie, that hole has disappeared because of the relationships he’s formed with others,suggesting that perhaps the only thing that can truly satisfy a human being is love, whether it is in the form of friendship or romance.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. While some crazy, unbelievable things happened in the story and while the plot was sometimes cliche and predictable, The Intern was ultimately a feel-good film that ended my day on a satisfying note, and Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway showcased great chemistry.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Title: The Intern
Director: Nancy Meyers
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway
Run time: 2 hr 1 min