Help Wanted

It's Friday once again, but unfortunately, there's still not anything too exciting to come out this week to entice you to visit a movie theater. Thankfully, there's just one more week until we have some movies worth writing about (ie The Walk and The Martian), but until then....I guess I'll just have to talk about the latest piece of Nancy Meyer's fluff. Sometimes it's hard to review a movie like The Intern. This workplace comedy-drama starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway doesn't exactly have lofty aspirations, so what's the use in tearing it apart? It easily achieves the amiability it aims for... but unfortunately, doesn't make much of an impression beyond that.

The Intern follows the story of 70-year old Ben (played by Robert DeNiro), a widower who has way too much time on his hands. Hoping to make better use of that time, he applies to be a Senior Intern at a successful clothing website. There, he's assigned to work under the head of the company Jules Oster (Anne Hathaway), as she faces the decision of whether or not to hire a CEO to help relieve some of her stress and allow her to focus more on her family life. Jules isn't thrilled with the idea of an intern following her around, but Ben's old school ways quickly endear him to her and prove invaluable. It's all just as pleasant as it sounds.

So what's the problem? Nothing really... if you just want to watch a movie with your parents that they'll enjoy. But if you're hoping that this has a compelling story and interesting characters, you're going to come away a little disappointed. And for as breezy as a film this movie wants to be, it sure meanders a lot. The pacing here is dreadful; there are plenty of side-plotlines that bloat this film to a two hour run time when it should definitely be a 90-minute film. This might not be so glaring a problem if the plot was stronger and the filmmakers wanted to make weightier statements about ageism and sexism in the workplace, but such is not the case. Instead, it comes off more like the premise of a television series than a rousing film narrative (and almost feels as long as a watching an entire season's worth of episodes!) The drama is not that touching and the comedy is not that funny. The best thing here is no doubt the likable performances by both DeNiro and Hathaway, but even the rapport the two characters have by the end of the film doesn't really feel earned.

Still, this film is enough of a crowd-pleaser that if you want to ignore this cynical critic's findings, you can easily do so. There's enough enjoyment and amiability to be found, just not a lot of originality or depth either. If nothing else you can ogle Anne Hathaway's adorable wardrobe. EMILY RATING: 6/10 


Johanna said...

I don't know. Might open up my father issues. :)

Johanna said...

Well, I am your parent; and yes, I liked it. It's not a deep movie and very subtle in the resolution of conflict. If you blink, you might miss it because most of it is inferred. (Niel didn't like that.) I read one opinion that you would fall a little in love with Robert DeNiro. That was, surprisingly, accurate....And he's old enough to be my father. His character was a little too good to be true. In fact, I think I need an intern like him in my life.

Still the relationship was very warm and fuzzy in a Mr. Miyagi/Danielson kind of way. But sometimes you just kind of want that, you know?

Yes, I would watch it again (Cable it, as Kenny would say).