The Intern Review Roundup: Nancy Meyers’ Latest Movie “Delivers What It …

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Review: The Intern.

, in theaters Friday, will feel familiar to those who have watched her previous movies time and again. Ben Whittaker is 70, retired and discovers that tai chi classes, learning a new language and visiting his grand-kids isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, so he turns to a new challenge — being The Intern at a New York fashion start-up.If you’ve seen It’s Complicated or Something’s Gotta Give, you can probably guess what you’ll get with this latest film by writer-director Nancy Meyers. Imagine the possibilities: the plot of The Devil Wears Prada, but this time with Anne Hathaway in the Meryl Streep role, and – genius casting alert! – Robert De Niro in the junior position lately vacated by the over-promoted… Anne Hathaway!

With The Intern, Meyers takes us into the modern world of e-commerce where Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) is the frazzled founder of a successful online shopping site. Rather, it chronicles an unlikely friendship that forms between Jules Ostin (), the founder and CEO of a fashion e-commerce company, and Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a retiree who becomes Jules’ sounding board. Said Hathaway about her character, “I gotta say I was initially drawn to her because I thought I’ve never seen a young, smart, female character like this, who’s dealing with so much stress and I related to it. But the double Oscar winner says the film is a “love letter to our generation.” “We do tend to feel that when you are a certain age, you are less relevant in some ways, and that is not the case,” De Niro, 72, said. “People getting older are kind of sidelined,” De Niro said, but his character in the movie “has the kind of advice that only someone who has been on the planet a lot longer can give.” Written and directed by Nancy Meyers and also starring Anne Hathaway, The Intern is a rare big-budget Hollywood hybrid of comedy, romance and drama that aims for multi-generational appeal without patronising either baby-boomers or millennials. The 121-minute movie’s supporting cast includes Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, Zack Pearlman, Andrew Rannells, Rene Russo and Nat Wolff, as well as Jason Orley, who is Meyers’ former assistant. • “Funny, smart, warm, wise and completely winning comedies actually aimed at grown-ups don’t come around often from the major studios these days,” Deadline’s Pete Hammond writes, “but thank God for Nancy Meyers, the writer/director/producer of , who works within the system and consistently comes up with a winning formula in this genre.” Calling the film “infectiously likeable,” he praises Meyers for not focusing on romance but for putting an “inventive spin on a workplace comedy.” “is a genuine crowd pleaser in every way,” he writes. “The pairing of De Niro and Hathaway is inspired and the film says a lot about living your life to the fullest, no matter what your age.” • “With its basic pitch and premise, could have been a sharp-toothed look at work and worth in the 21st Century, as a 70-year-old retiree enters a senior’s internship program at a busy, bustling fashion dot-com run by a stressed-out prodigy of a founder.

The “old guys” in The Internship, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, were just fortysomething flotsam left adrift by the tsunami-damage of the internet upon the world economy. It’s the most high-profile entry in a slew of recent films that celebrate the 50-plus crowd often ignored as movie studios target youth audiences with action-packed superhero fare. I mean, she’s just trying so hard to be a good person and do right by everyone and I love that Nancy (Meyers) wrote a female boss character who wasn’t mean and cold.” “We all dismiss each other a little too easily, you know?

De Niro’s character, a retired businessman who takes a junior intern position at Hathaway’s company, however, is in his 70s, inconceivably elderly in the eyes of his fellow employees. Or occasionally, younger characters would glean a bit of wisdom from them but for the most part they were anachronisms,” said Bill Newcott, film critic of AARP’s Movie for Grown-ups. That, at least, is the chief takeaway from , a perky generation-gap fable that sneaks some surprisingly conservative gender politics into its stainless new world of online startups and amply product-placed Macbooks,” writes Variety’s Guy Lodge. Sure you do: it’s going straight on to the list of rotten movies that De Niro has been pumping out in unbroken succession for nigh on three decades now: The Big Wedding, The Family, Last Vegas, Grudge Match, Killing Season… and that’s just the last three years.

The 2012 comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, about a group of adventure-seeking British retirees, made a surprising $136 million (Dh499.3 million) at the global box office. The movie “bears a resemblance” to 1987’s Baby Boom, which Meyers co-wrote, but it “was a lot funnier and sharper” than The Intern. “Given the vacuity of the script, it must be admitted that Hathaway achieves something of a triumph. If I didn’t know better, I’d put it down to some evil financial quirk in the post-2008 recovery to the effect that one has to work three times as much these days to make the same money one did in 2007. Robert Redford is currently taking a strenuous A Walk in the Woods, Lily Tomlin is a rascally Grandma, and in Ricki and the Flash, Meryl Streep plays a rock star. On one level, the film seems to be about bridging the generation gap – particularly in the workplace – and it’s certainly entertaining to watch Ben bond with his hipster co-workers.

That didn’t happen to De Niro, as far as I know – in fact De Niro is playing Madoff in HBO’s forthcoming film The Wizard Of Lies – and I don’t think that he’s paying Norman Mailer-like levels of alimony, nor is his Tribeca business empire haemorrhaging cash. But he hopes major Hollywood studios take note of the trend. “If this film does very well, and we hope it does, then they might start making other films like it. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, and it’s probably best to simply take for what it is – a feel-good dramedy designed to appeal to young and (most definitely) old. One day they looked at what they had wrought – I’m guessing around The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen for Sean and Welcome To Mooseport for Gene – and probably thought: the hell with this, life is too goddamn short!

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