Karthik Menon reviews the family comedy starring two of Hollywood’s most versatile Academy Award winners – Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway
Consider this, a 70 year old retired successful business man, decides to start his career over from scratch by interning! Not a very common situation is it? Well, if I was you I’d probably watch Nancy Meyer’s production of “The Intern”; just because that is exactly what it is about.
A month into its release, the movie has surpassed the 7.5 mark on IMDB, and I believe, it has been a while since a comedy production has achieved this. In all fairness, however, when you cast two academy awards winning actors as your leading roles, there is very little that can go wrong. De Niro and Hathaway’s on screen platonic chemistry is something, in my opinion, that has definitely set the bar higher for all variations of comedies in the near future. Nancy Meyer, writer and director of the feature, has managed to once again implement her equation of an absurd concept, a simple plot and a stellar cast – to create another one of her evergreen Friday Night Comedies that always guarantees a grin at every end credit roll.
Robert De Niro, plays Ben Whittaker, a 70 year old retired widower, who has well reached the saturation period of his life. He is introduced right away in the first sequence, as a man who has seen every nook and cranny life could offer. It is almost instantly established that despite a rather stable and successful life, Whittaker realizes the retiree life is not his cup of tea. Pretty much serendipitous, Whittaker stumbles upon an internship at About Fit (an online fashion store) that is seeking for candidates over the age of 60.
This unusual correlation of events is exactly what Whittaker required, and with his level of experience and status he is instantly hired. This is where Jules Olson, played by Anne Hathaway, comes into the picture. CEO and founder of “About Fit”, Olson is a passionate young woman in her mid-twenties with a hell bent aim to be the most successful businesswoman the world has ever seen. Her dilemmas of balancing her professional and domestic life is the revolving plot of the story. Whittaker’s first interaction with Olson takes place when he is directly assigned to be her intern. Olson obviously not too pleased about the idea, whereas Whittaker takes an instant liking to her.
Over the course of the movie, Meyers does a fantastic job in capturing the essence of their relationship. Despite working as an intern at the age of 70, Whittaker manages to reshape her as a person, not only by being her employee, but as a friend (one could argue a father figure) that Olson never had. He sticks by her and helps her through all the hardships thrown at her both professionally and domestically.
Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway were spot on for the role. De Niro’s level of experience in real life, made it easier for him to portray that on screen; while Hathaway, needless to be said, one of the few versatile actors of our generation, did an amazing job as the passionate and stubborn entrepreneur, Jules Olson.
It can be pointed out that, a range of qualities of her character could be related to the role she played in “The Devil Wears Prada”. The supporting actors such as Adam DeVine, Jason Orley and Zack Pearlman were definitely significant to keep the laughter going. All in all, KUDOS to the casting team!
Meyers through her work, has never failed to depict the kind of relationship a man and woman can share doesn’t always have to contain the cliché of romance. Love is portrayed in a variety ways, the chemistry between Ben and Jules clearly reflects that.
The Intern is guaranteed to touch hearts and laugh till your stomach cringes for audiences ranging right from their 20’s to the 70’s. To me, hands down, this production has definitely entered the top ten charts for timeless comedy classics. Meyers, De Niro and Hathaway all managed to prove to us that “Experience never gets old.”
REVIEW BY KARTHIK MENON