The Intern

My mental image of an intern is an eager but underpaid young adult who invests time and energy into learning a new business. Well, in this movie, the eager intern we expect to see is 70 years old and has signed up for an innovative "Senior Intern" program.

Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who is known for her audience-pleasing work ("It's Complicated" and "The Holiday"), this PG-13 film takes our expectations, adds two Oscar winners, and turns those expectations upside down. In addition, everyone in this plot is NICE, no one is rude or demeaning. We see no betrayals (well, maybe one), we see no gunshots or vehicular mayhem and everyone is polite! The biggest crisis is a bedbug.

The cast:
  • Robert De Niro ("Silver Linings Playbook") is Ben, our eponymous hero, a 70-year-old widower, retired, and bored out of his skull. When we see his new work environment, we think he INVENTED the generation gap! He wears a suit and a tie, plus he carries a briefcase and (gasp!) a clean handkerchief.
  • Anne Hathaway ("Interstellar") Jules runs an on-line fashion business which she founded less than two years ago. She is young, inexperienced, and overworked. Her devoted staff knows she needs a wingman, despite her objections to the contrary. As we watch her in action, we can see why her staff is so loyal.
  • Anders Holm ("Workaholics") is Matt, Jules' househusband. He volunteered to take over the domestic side of their marriage in order to support her burgeoning business.
  • JoJo Kushner is their precocious daughter, Paige. This little actress was either beautifully directed or has a nice future. (Just don't ask her to cry....)
  • Andrew Rannells ("Glee") Cameron makes many of the personnel decisions for Jules because he pays close attention to EVERYTHING. She couldn't ask for a better chief assistant. He assigns Ben, to be her new intern.
  • Rene Russo ("Thor") A back rub from Fiona, the company masseuse, has an immediate (and obvious) effect on Ben. His fellow interns are mighty amused.
It's fun to watch his co-workers come to Ben for help. He is practical, experienced and considerate. His history of success, both with a long-term marriage and a long-term executive position, makes him uniquely qualified to offer sound advice.

When the venture capitalists who funded the business tell Jules they want to hire a CEO to take over some of her duties, she feels threatened and humiliated. We see the impact on her personal life, as well as her professional one. Ben, on the other hand, sees the whole picture and offers his expertise to help her sort things out.

This 121-minute dramedy touches on many relatable issues: The price of success; the generation gap; senior sexuality; and the hard work that goes into a solid marriage. And NO, there is no hanky panky between our two lead characters! I just wanted to reassure you....
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Here is a preview:
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