The Intern – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

the internThe Intern – 3/5 – The ‘feel good’ motto is something that is the staple of the middle of the road stories.  No matter the genre, when this motto comes into play, you usually get aspects that vary with realistic situations and relationship problems.  The Intern is a film that plays along the ‘feel good’ motto; putting forth a simple story that many can relate to in some way.  Even with a predictable plot line and cliché settings; there is enough enjoyment to be found in The Intern to have an overall good experience.

Premise: A 70 year old widower (Ben) has found no fun in his retired life.  All changes when he becomes an intern for an online company.  Becoming the intern to the big boss (Jules); a relationship that seems far from impossible starts to grow.  With life, work and so much going; what we come to find is that Experience never gets old.

We have the focus on two main characters.  You have:

Robert De Niro as Ben

Anne Hathaway as Jules

The first thing I have to mention is that these two have some of the best chemistry on screen I have seen in any film this year so far.  De Niro plays Ben; a retiree who signs up for the ‘senior’s as interns’ program for Jules’s online company.  De Niro does a great job in creating this elder statesman.  You see a man who has endeared a lot in his life.  What you see is that De Niro takes the typical ‘wise old man’ archetype and gives it slight unique twist.  Adding his exclusive kind of charm and persona, it drives a sword of humanistic qualities of a real person.  This leads to added depth to the archetype.  He is a force on screen in a very subtle way.  He comes across as an ‘observer’ in his intern role, advising with an impartial opinion to either Jules or fellow co-workers.  That dynamic of being an intern/old wise man creates a bleeding effect that shows a colorful dynamic between him and Hathaway’s character, Jules.  She plays a young entrepreneur who has just created a successful online business.  While the success has been great, it also has brought a lot of stress to her private life.  Always on the go, being busy and having a family has wrecked her emotional state.  That combination of family, work and this new ‘senior’ intern creates an atmosphere of a one dimensional ‘hard nose’ boss archetype.  What you see (like De Niro’s character), is that the emotional turmoil produces layers within her character.  That emotional layer creates the irony of her strength; but shows she is a believable flawed individual.  This leads to a building budding relationship with her and Ben.  As you see them interact, the impartial observer and the young entrepreneur bleed together as real people, a relationship that is surreal and real at the same time.  These two carry this film; creating a central point where you can feel growth, inspiration and enjoyment.  When it comes to the secondary cast; it is a mixed bag of known names and up and coming actors/actresses (reference at IMDB page).  Unlike the main leads; the rest of the cast plays to the typecast roles found in any melodramatic film.  This leads to the characters becoming more like plot devices then actual people.

The direction goes along a simple outline.  You have:

First act: Introduction to the main characters.  Position them into their positional starting points (plot); initial conflict(s) ensues.

Second act:  The dynamic of character relationships build (both personal and public); a mixture of situation comedy, dramatic tension and foreshadowing.

Third act: Interventional exposition, a common ‘resolution’ climax with a full circle epilogue.

This is the film as you see it.  It doesn’t divert from this linear path, and stays generic throughout its running time.  It’s your middle of the road, melodramatic tale.  Rehashing from the acting description; you have a retiree in Ben who goes to work as an Intern for Jules’s upstart online company.  From here, the film follows these two; as the direction intertwines both their public and private life throughout the film.  Hijinx ensues with some hilarious situation combined with cheesy interactions.  The ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ you experience in both the character interactions, emotional melodrama and predictable scenarios create a film that does feel disjointed at times.  Even when you’re taken out by the clichés and lowly level dialogue, it never completely deters from the ‘overall’ enjoyment.  The film’s strength comes from the direction as it never strays from the main focal point of Ben being the intern to Jules.  This is the heart of the plot, the thing that creates a thematic tone of Age, Experience and Importance of Family.  That is imposed (subtlety) through Ben’s demeanor and Jules’s bluntness.  That contrast is wonderful enticing and creates some raw, whimsical dialogue.  As the film moves along, you get to see the deeper web of Jules’s life, along with Ben becoming more involved.  Through cliché relationship issues, human error and overall ‘everyday’ life; we get to see a flush of exuberances and exposition that might seem foreshadowing something, but it does hit its stride in being a humanistic tale.  Once we move into the third act, the film does begin to stray from its strengths.  The film begins to trail into some forced melodrama.  This creates the overtly use of emotional turmoil instead of letting the characters dynamic create the tension.  That does take away from the ‘realism’ of the story.  Eventually, the direction turns back to its main focal points, leading the audience into great exposition from both Ben and Jules.  This leads into a climax that plays to a ‘resolution’ tone that is predictable but heartwarming.  Once we get to the end, the film brings everything full circle; showing the importance people can be in your lives, no matter who they are.

The visuals give you an aspect of the common backdrop of a 21st century society.  Everything is built upon the modern aspect; from the businesses, homes and various other locations the characters venture to.  There really isn’t anything here that helps or hinders the film’s experience.  The ideal aspect for this film is for the visuals to just stay as the ‘background’; which it does.  The score is non-existent in this film.

The Intern is a film that doesn’t do anything different but plays to the middle of the road.  You have a lot of melodramatic situations and common characters; but with the main leads being so great; you are entertained.  If you’re a fan of the actors/actress involved, you’ll find some enjoyment here.  I’d recommend this as a matinee; a good film to see with the family.

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