The Intern: A Pleasant Surprise

I saw a preview for The Intern a few weeks back and my initial reaction included a head-shake and eye-roll followed by “that looks awful”. I then received an email as a post-film student for a free screening of this film. I’m open to having my mind changed – even more so when the ticket doesn’t cost me a thing. I roped in another film friend of mine and we attended the film. From the preview I gathered that Jules (Hathaway), the successful entrepreneur, and Ben (De Niro) the elder intern would become romantically involved. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Jules was married to someone her age and that Ben, though a widower, was finding interest in a woman closer to his age. There was more character complexity and development than I was anticipating. My only previous experience of a Nancy Meyers film is The Parent Trap and What Women Want. I’m not really interested in watching the elderly fall in love and have sex but I understand the Baby Boomers are a fruitful market – this is to say “I have yet to watch Something’s Gotta Give andIt’s Complicated.

I was doubly pleased at the end of the film that our protagonist and woman-in-charge made a choice for herself and her family, not one or the other. It’s a nice change to see a film in Hollywood that has the potential to make big bucks and be screened nationwide that doesn’t force a female character to choose between love and success or family and success or whatever. We’re all allowed to have it all. No one says it will be easy and this film doesn’t shy away from the truth that relationships take work. They’re never easy – you have to want to succeed in work, in relationships, in hobbies, whatever, to have any chance of doing so.

Hathaway and De Niro have good on-screen chemistry together and a respect for each other is shown clearly in the parts they play.

Let’s not forget Anders Holm and Adam DeVine from Workaholics had substantial roles. Holm as the stay-at-home-husband and DeVine as the boy-with-a-crush-who-doesn’t-understand-dating-without-technology (this should probably be a easier term to write, is there a word for this?). Holm as Matt left his successful business to be the stay-at-home-dad (or house-husband). DeVine as Jason learned from Ben how to talk to a woman in the “old school” way of walking up to someone.