The Intern – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

September 30, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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Director and writer Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated) has said she doesn’t want to be known as the one who makes movies for older people.

Why not?  Romantic comedy appeals to a wide range of ages and Meyers has amply demonstrated her firm grasp of the amusing and ridiculous.

The eponymous intern, Robert De Niro (Ben), is a retired 70-year-old widower who needs something to fill his empty days. When a woman he knows peeks in his grocery bag and offers to bring over a salad to accompany a frozen lasagne, he declines. Perhaps if she had offered him a pot roast it might have been a different story – but not as much fun.

After making an application interview video, Ben gets taken on as a Senior Intern in a successful online fashion start-up. Assigned to Jules (Anne Hathaway) founder of the rapidly growing business, he sets about making himself generally useful as Jules is far too busy to utilise him.

Ben is a gentleman, a smartly dressed sweetie who soon makes friends with his much younger co-workers.  When he spies in-house masseuse Fiona (Rene Russo) who is more his speed, things start to warm up.

The plot meanders around while he quietly sorts out everyone else – such as Jules’ overworked assistant Becky (Christine Scherer).  He has plenty of wisdom to impart and as the young men around him absorb his life lessons, they start to mature.   When Ben takes over from Jules’ driver, we meet her husband Matt (Anders Holm) who is primary carer for their young daughter and the set up is complete.

De Niro has played comedy before and this is him at his best. His character is smart and self–effacing, charming but determined and as he won over the rest of the workplace, he eventually succeeds with his boss. Hathaway brings her own brand of intelligence as the driven perfectionist.

A funny and wry tale, the Brooklyn setting is lovely with its rows of terraces.  Russo with her great comic timing – as she showed in Tin Cup and Get Shorty – never overplays. The scene where Ben takes her to a funeral in lieu of a date is a hoot.

Myers writes good roles and dialogue and gets the best out of her actors, whatever their age.  There’s nothing wrong with any of that.

3.5/5   Rated M  121mins 2015       Released October 1st

Starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo

Directed and written by Nancy Meyers

 

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