Who would have thought that Romantic Comedy star Anne Hathaway would ever be acting alongside Gangster Film star Robert De Niro? "The Intern" stars both of them respectively and say what you will about sappy plots like this, "The Intern" is a very, very good film about life in general. Following a widower as he tries to keep himself busy on a daily basis, not matter what it is, Ben (De Niro) is hired as a senior personal-intern to Jules (Hathaway) at an online fashion website. Fitting right in as he had a very long career in business, they form an offbeat friendship that nobody would have expected.
This film truly is about friendship, family, and life in general. That is the main focus and it handles it wonderfully. Giving needed life lessons to the new/younger generation, while still caring about it's older audience, this film balances the old and the new in such an interesting way. Having a young family who clearly doesn't see their father's very much, Ben becomes that figure in their lives and changes it drastically, for better or worse. Everything about this film moves at a very solid pace and you feel like it is giving you a slice of life at this moment in their lives. Where this film falters, is the choices made by some of the characters in the final act.
It began to feel a little less like life itself and more like a movie when decisions being made felt like plot devices in order to have the happy/sad ending that it went for. It tries very hard to pull on your heart strings and I did not buy into the emotional impact of the final few scenes as the decisions felt very forced, in my opinion at least. I did not believe that this particular conclusion would have happened in reality, and while the film played out as a very realistic picture, that shift in tone was jarring to me. "The Intern" does benefit from an experience writer in this genre, which is why most of the film is so great.
Nancy Meyers writes and directs this film, and while her earlier films such as "Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, or "The Holiday" have all been enjoyable, films later in her career such as "Father of the Bride 2" or "It's Complicated" really hurt her pedestal. Thankfully, this film has put Meyers back in the spotlight and I look forward to see more of her work in the future. With all the right feel good moments, compelling character developing scenes, and the perfect amount of levity between young and old characters, "The Intern" is a far better movie than it should be and I highly recommend it. Very solid entertainment.
Review By: KJ Proulx