THE INTERN

Kernel John McParland hits up the reverse DEVIL WEARS PRADA where this time we have Anne Hathaway as the CEO and old man Robert Deniro coming in as her intern. THE INTERN started last Thursday and again apologies, catching up on life after over a month of illness. Originally this was intended to be Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon but I think Nicholson declined and Witherspoon ended up dropping out. I like the casting, I think DeNiro and Hathaway are a brilliant match but enough from me! THE INTERN is released from the peeps at Roadshow Films, it is rated M and runs for 121mins. Enjoy John’s thoughts on the movie……..all the best……….JK.

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THE INTERN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JOHN MCPARLAND

I am pulled in two ways by THE INTERN.  I both really enjoyed and was thoroughly frustrated by this film.  Key aspects, such as the acting, were perfect, while other areas, like the plot, were a complete miss.  Though performances, direction, scenery and the like all play pivotal roles in making a film come alive, the reason any of us go to the movies these days is primarily for the storyline; to pause our own life’s tale for a moment and bask in the journey of another’s.  For that reason, when a story fails to hit the mark, no amount of star power can really raise a movie beyond average standing, no matter how content and smiley I may have been during the screening, which just makes me sad all over again.  See!  The dichotomy of the film is tearing me apart!  Anyway, onto the review itself…

THE INTERN is a truly lovely film featuring Academy Award winners Anne Hathaway (INTERSTELLAR) as Jules Ostin and Robert de Niro (LAST VEGAS) as Ben Whittaker.  Ostin is the incredibly successful creator of About the Fit, an online fashion company that has exploded in popularity and size since its inception 18 months earlier.  While fiercely passionate, Ostin is an awkward and inexperienced individual, unsure of herself and how to navigate her business through the chaotic boom period it currently finds itself in.  Pushed by her investors to appoint an experienced CEO at the helm, Ostin is reluctant to relinquish control of her company, fearful that an outsider will strip away its soul.

 

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THE INTERN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JASON (ADAM DEVINE), BEN (ROBERT DENIRO) AND DAVIS (ZACK PEARLMAN)

 

Enter Whittaker as her 250ish employee.  Long since retired and a recent widower, 70-year-old Whittaker has become bored and listless in his absence from the workforce.  Looking to once again do something productive with his life, Whittaker applies to be a “senior intern” for About the Fit.  Paired with Ostin as her personal assistant, the two overcome some initial apprehension to form a fast bond.  Acting as a sounding board and confidant, Whittaker uses his decades of experience and wisdom to help Ostin find confidence in herself and in her role as a businesswoman and company leader.

The film’s acting is superb.  Hathaway shines in her portrayal of an incredibly enthusiastic yet overwhelmed individual.  Hathaway realistically relates the highs and lows of a woman who is both incredibly successful and passionate, yet also struggling to cope on both the work and home fronts.  Tina Fey (30 ROCK television series) was originally cast to play the role of Ostin, but was replaced by Reese Witherspoon (HOT PURSUIT).  Due to scheduling conflicts, Hathaway later replaced Witherspoon, and for me personally I believe this to have been a brilliant move.  The film’s nature would not have suited Fey’s dark wit, nor Witherspoon’s slapstick comedy styles, whereas Hathaway as lead was a perfect choice.

De Niro is likewise marvellous in support.  Though the role was originally planned for Michael Caine (KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE), De Niro’s presence and charm is a perfect match to Hathaway’s.  There are even moments when some of his expressions and mannerisms remind me of his LITTLE FOCKERS and ANALYZE THAT comedic quirks, which just further add to this film’s overall appeal.

 

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THE INTERN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | BEN (ROBERT DENIRO) AND JULES (ANNE HATHAWAY) DOING WHAT I HOPE IS TAI CHI

 

Directed, produced and written by Nancy Meyers (IT’S COMPLICATED), full credit must be given to her for this delightful movie’s direction and production.  The writing sadly is this film’s biggest letdown.  Though I found myself smiling and thoroughly enjoying this movie throughout, towards the end it began to dawn on me that nothing was actually happening, or going to happen.  The plot overall is quite weak, with no real complication to spur the film along.  A simplistic storyline from start to finish, the film ends as it begins, with no real resolution to the few tepid hurdles placed in our star’s paths.  The movie just sort of happens, right up until the moment the credits roll and you are left to wonder what the point of it all was.  Meyers squanders a brilliant cast on a poorly thought-out and weak plot, which weighs heavily on an otherwise wonderful film.

Recently, I have seen the film advertised on television and in print as a romcom.  When I was leaving the preview, the cinema even had posters offering discount tickets for a “girl’s night in with The Intern”.  To be clear, THE INTERN is not a romcom.  There is no romance between the leads, no hint of discrete liaisons, no pining for lost loves.  Whittaker is a modern day Mary Poppins, who appears in Ostin’s life just when she needs him most; though instead of helping with the children, he instead assists her with her company and her self-worth.  Their relationship is one of mutual friendship and respect, even father-daughterly at times.  The best way I can describe this movie is that it is just a wonderful, feel-good film.

THE INTERN’s amazing cast and direction really makes you get behind the characters and their lives.  A truly lovely and heart-warming piece of cinema, I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a relaxing, conflict free evening.  Sadly, though I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, I just wished it actually went somewhere.

 

2 and a Half Pops