The Intern

Directed By: Nancy Meyers

Starring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, and Adam DeVine

Republicans have gotten away with spewing record amounts of crap at voters over the last several months.  From Planned Parenthood selling fetal organs on the black market to Social Security becoming solvent again with tax revenues from pimps and prostitutes, it's safe to say that this has been one of the most bizarre election years of most of our lifetimes. The central tenet underlying the platforms of the party's army of presidential candidates is that money is the root of all good.  One truth they've seemingly forgotten is that the last time they were in power in the Oval Office spelled disaster for ordinary Americans' wallets.  Just look to all the people still in the daily grind of work who were planning to retire some time over the last several years.  It's ridiculous.  Granted, some callous Republican would probably say that working at the dawn of one's golden years gives these individuals a sense of purpose.  This weekend's incredibly rosy comedy The Intern serves to prove just this.

Retirement does not suit Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro).  After the death of his wife of 42 years, this widower has done everything to make his days worthwhile.  He's burned through his frequent flyer miles, taken up every hobby known to man, and filled his schedule with the funerals of dearly departed old friends.  Still, there's a hole in his life.  When he discovers a flyer about an internship program for senior citizens at startup About the Fit (ATF), the 70 year-old promptly suits up and prepares for an interview.  Endearing everyone at ATF in his interview, he gets the position and actually ends up working for the founder of this budding Internet startup.  Working for a tech company poses new challenges for Ben, a man whose professional experience has been entirely in the long dead phone book industry.

Eighteen months ago, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) had a vision of a company offering customers clothing products online that fit.  What they see is what they actually get.  Fast forward to the present, and she's the ridiculously busy head of a company of 200 employees.  Her venture capitalists believe she could use some more seasoned leadership at the helm of her company and recommend that she hire a CEO.  With professional pressures mounting and her family life suffering, the last thing Jules needs is a senior citizen to entertain, especially one whose technical proficiencies are lacking.  She doesn't have any ordinary intern, however.  She's got the charming, resourceful Ben Whittaker who is quickly enamoring everyone in the office.  Meanwhile, sparks fly between Ben and ATF's in-house masseuse Fiona (Rene Russo).

This weekend's The Intern won't win any awards.  It won't do wonders at the box office.  It won't be beloved by critics.  What Nancy Meyers's comedy will do is offer a fun, lighthearted romp featuring two heavyweight actors and a lovable supporting cast.  There's no doubt that you will enjoy the film as the cast endlessly charms you.  If there's one criticism that I have of Nancy Meyers's The Intern, however, it's that the film doesn't do enough with its rather unique premise.  In an age when seniors are working harder and longer, it's safe to say that The Intern offers a timely tale.  It just doesn't go far enough with it.

The cast is full of delights, and they buoy the film from start to finish.  As our lead Ben Whittaker, screen legend Robert De Niro keeps a smile on his face the entire film.  Once he finds purpose on the job at About the Fit.  He's "on" the entire time as this character.  For her part as Jules Ostin, Anne Hathaway brings us a ridiculously busy woman trying to fire on all cylinders.  She's really portraying a caricature that’s emblematic of white collar female professionals who struggle to balance their personal and professional lives.  It's a straightforward yet endearing performance.  With folks like Adam DeVine and Rene Russo delivering plenty of laughs, the supporting cast delivers the goods as well.

All in all, The Intern is a cheery comedy where just about everything works out.  It's not terrific, but it's not terrible either.  Insulting my generation of men and making work to be something enticing, The Intern sticks to what it knows.  This little comedy that could gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a few glasses of Chardonnay with this one.