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Film Review – The Intern

2 min read

The blockbuster formula to a Nancy Meyers film includes romance, comedy and, perhaps oddly, interior design. This is apparent in the writer-director-producers’s latest movie, The Intern.  The rom-com stars Robert De Niro as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old who yearns for something more after retirement. Longing for direction, Ben decides to head back into the workforce and finds a job as an intern for Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), a thirty-something founder and CEO of a fashion e-commerce company who takes on under a community outreach program. Although both reluctant with one another, Ben and Jules gradually learn new things through each other lives and develop a meaningful and poignant friendship.

Meyer’s The Intern explores the modern day issues of career changes, motherhood and retirement. In typical Nancy Meyers style, this takes place in the subtle, clean-cut interior of a chic Brooklyn warehouse turned office. With an unmistakable eye for aesthetics, there is no doubt that this film is a Meyers production.

The Intern Inserted

However, what separates this film from the rest of Meyers’ resume (The Holiday, It’s Complicated) is that romance takes the backseat. Interestingly, it’s the platonic relationship between Jules and Ben that remains the focus of the film. The film shows their unorthodox relationship and their eccentric teamwork in and out of the workplace, a smart concept in this era.

The Intern relies heavily on the performance of both leads, Hathaway and De Niro, an unconventional chemistry that is amusing to see on screen. Both veterans in their own fields, Hathaway and De Niro command the screen together in an unlikely team, displaying warm and heartwarming performances. Hathaway plays a slightly upgraded version of her character in The Devil Meets Prada – developing a successful career and whilst trying to balance it with her role as wife and mother – that is contrasted with De Niro experienced retiree, a much softer character type than audiences are used to.

But, as in most of Meyers’ film, there is the distinctive and slightly off-putting feeling of overbrushed perfection. The film is almost too perfect; from the urban Brooklyn, where there’s no apparent traffic and lots of beautiful brownstones, the symmetrical interior of Jules’ office and the contemporary kitchen space in her home. Everything seems easy and lighthearted in Meyers’ world, an evident feeling in her film. So much so that The Intern forgets the story amongst the bright lighting and MacBooks.

Ultimately, and thankfully, the film is contingent upon the dramatic and comedic performances of the two leads, which The Intern’s most prominent element.