What it's about:
Ben Whittaker is a 70-year-old widower who has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.
What we thought:
If Robert De Niro is in a movie I’m already sold!
Unlike every other intern movie this one has a twist. Instead of a young, fresh out of varsity protagonist just starting out in the world, this intern is a 70-something widower with a wealth of life experience.
When Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) sees a flyer for a senior internship programme he jumps at the opportunity. After the death of his wife he has kept busy: does tai chi, took up Mandarin and occasionally visits his son and grandchildren, but there’s a “hole in his life that he needs to fill”.
Ben lands the intern position at the online fashion retailer About the Fit and he ends up being paired with the founder Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).
She’s an overworked workaholic, her schedule is packed with meetings which she is always late for and she moves around the office on her bicycle. She’s juggling being a boss and a wife and mother to her stay-at-home husband Matt (Anders Holm) and adorable daughter Paige (JoJo Kushner).
Meanwhile back at the office Ben is a hit. He’s friendly, he takes his younger co-workers under his wing teaching them the importance of a good briefcase, to tuck in their shirts, to always have a handkerchief at hand, not for themselves but for the ladies and he even meets a love interest, the in house masseuse Fiona (Rene Russo).
Jules is reluctant at first to take Ben on but he soon proves to become a valuable asset and ally to her as she encounters both professional and personal strife.
The Intern doesn’t really go anywhere; it’s fluffy and sentimental and is mainly a good movie because of the leads and the skills of writer-director Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, What Women Want).
Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway have chemistry, charm and perfect comedic timing. Robert’s Ben is so likable; he’s like the grandpa you’ve always wanted. It’s quite refreshing seeing De Niro in this kind of role.
Anne’s character was a hard sell in the beginning; she channelled some of Meryl Streep’s, The Devil Wears Prada. But as her character opens up to Ben she perfectly conveys the struggles women in business still face: her insecurities, dealing with her own success, her struggle to balance work and personal life. In the end you do like her.
The Intern will have you laughing out loud and then punch you in the guts with its sentimentality.
It’s hard to say anything bad about a movie that will have you leaving the cinema with a smile on your face.