Movie Review: The Intern
By Danny Pellegrino
October 5, 2015
Nancy Meyers isn’t just a successful film director, she’s a brand. A genre. A way of life. Her films have spanned decades, and are often heralded as “chick flicks,” mislabeled as a way for her haters to diminish her successes. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with chick flicks, it’s just not fairly justified with her films. While it’s true they often have female protagonists, they are movies beloved by women AND men, just not always upon immediate release.
Name a father who doesn’t relate to the struggle of letting their daughter go like George Banks did in Father of the Bride, or a chronic bachelor who hasn’t thought about finding a woman his own age like Harry Sanborn in Something’s Gotta Give. Nancy Meyers may center films on a woman, but there is always a way in for the men in the audience. Hell, even Dennis Quaid got to show some pathos in The Parent Trap remake (that is, when Natasha Richardson and Lindsay Lohan weren’t charming our pants off). You may not like it, but these are stories about women and men, so don’t write them off so quickly. Also, if I haven’t convinced you that her movies might not be a chick flicks, please note that it’s 2015 and gender is fluid now.
Which brings me to The Intern. Anyone writing THIS off as a chick flick is wrong. It’s a story equally centered on Robert De Niro’s Ben and Anne Hathaway’s Jules. He’s a card carrying member of the AARP looking for a job to keep him busy, and she’s a card carrying member of Starbucks Gold looking to keep her business thriving. He’s a widower, she’s a wife and mother. Through movie magic, Jules and Ben begin working together at her vibrant e-commerce fashion company.
There are some other things going on - some stuff about her marriage, a little romance with him and a beautifully age-appropriate masseur named Fiona (Rene Russo, who continues her renaissance after an iconic performance in last year’s Nightcrawler), but the real magic is that this ISN’T a movie where there are constant explosions or superheroes teaming up nonsensically to defeat a faceless army of robots. Viewers can settle in knowing that a beautiful score will play as two people get to know each other among beautiful sets.
You can also rest easy knowing Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway don’t grossly fall in love in the end. I don’t say that to spoil anything, I say that because the experience will be much better as a viewer if you aren’t thinking that will ever be an option. She’s married, and he’s old, and we’ve seen old men get impossibly young girls in way too many other movies, so get it out of your head now!
So where were we? Ah, the magic. The real magic in a Nancy Meyers movie comes from everything supporting the pleasant plot. In The Intern, that magic is available in spades. Want a poetically written monologue about how millennial men grow up to be boys? It’s there. And like a good book, it will feel like a hug when delivered from the more than capable mouth of Anne Hathaway’s Jules. Want a beautiful set with a colorful pallet you could never afford? It’s there. This movie is Pinterest. You’ll finish each scene thinking about how you’re going to incorporate a hanging pan rack into your 1 bedroom apartment, and I mean that as the highest compliment. There’s so much to love in The Intern, and like many of Meyers' previous films, we will all find even more to love upon repeat cable viewings.