The Intern is written and directed by Nancy Meyer who has previously made It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give, which showcased the talents of Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Meyer makes old school Hollywood entertainment, the interior designs in all her films are spectacular, the kids are cute, and there is no mess.
The film’s premise is a 70 year old widower applies for a senior intern position at an internet start-up company that sells fashion. Ben is played by Robert De Niro and the start up CEO Jules is played by Anne Hathaway. Ben in pitching himself for the job offers up his motivation to stay active in his senior years. “I read once that musicians don’t retire they stop when there is no more music in them, well I still have music in me, absolutely positive about that.” Ben is a walking template for the need for old people in the workplace.
Nancy Meyer’s screenplay works to a point, De Niro and Hathaway have a nice chemistry together, they make the small moments work, sharing a slice of Pizza as Ben updates his Facebook profile, or crying over the pros and cons of marriage in a hotel room. Both are not only excellent actors but also qualify as genuine screen personalities. Mr De Niro has proven in recent years he is a first rate comedian, and Miss Hathaway is equally at ease with both drama and comedy. Meyer surrounds them with some terrific young actors including Adam Devine, Zack Pearlman and Jason Orley as Ben’s sidekicks. Rene Russo makes the most of her scenes, as a sensuous masseuse still looking ravishing as she enters her sixties.
The film falters as Meyers attempts to add a layer of complexity in the films final third, the resolution seems trite and contrived. At one point the Gene Kelly masterwork Singin in the Rain is playing on the TV in the background, a film that belonged to Hollywood in its studio prime. Meyer rekindles some of the old school Hollywood charm with The Intern.