The Intern (2015) Directed by Nancy Meyers. With Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway and Rene Russo.
Nancy Meyers’ latest relationship comedy-drama, The Intern, pairs the unlikely duo of Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway to surprisingly feelgood effect. With an array of New York establishing shots and a breezy feel that invokes any number of workaday rom-coms, you’d be forgiven for assuming a play of the same old beats. Pleasingly, it’s set slightly apart from by field, opertaing as a mainstream piece about the forming of unconventional friendships, while strongly pronouncing that conventionality itself is what often makes life such a drag.
De Niro plays Ben, a retired 70-year-old widower, eager to keep life busy, and thus, happens across the opportunity to work as a senior intern at a spirited young fashion company set up by an entrepreneurial Anne Hathaway.
Through De Niro’s Ben, Meyers’ script yearns for the men of yesteryear as Hathaway’s Jules opines – “How, in one generation, have men gone from guys like jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to…” – this is asked as she’s surrounded by three t-shirt-wearing, bearded twenty-something tech geeks. Of course, it’s a rose-tinted view that eschews a lot to appeal to a way of thiking that fits the statement of the piece. This is, of course, about a point of perspective, based more on a commentary of the times. It’s easy to say that men of a certain time have more class and taste, the truth of the matter (if there is any) is far more complex.
With De Niro and Hathaway, there’s a heartfelt sense of two people that are great friends. Moments of silliness occasionally threaten to undermine the good work, but they are thankfully few. Happily, The Intern is a film that, thanks to its engaging leads, brings home a lot of warmth. 3.5/5