“The Intern” is not a great film, it will not take up permanence residence in your movie archive, but there was something sweet, possibly too saccharine, about the scenario; the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway is palpable and testament to their inimitable skills as actors.
Hathaway is workaholic, “Jules Ostin” dynamic founder of an online “fashionista” company; riding a bicycle through the aisles of her monolithic office, embodiment of the 21st century female: constantly “connected”, ambitious, neglectful of her stay-at-home husband/father “Matt” (bland, tepid Anders Holm) and too adorable daughter “Paige” (Jo Jo Kushner). Enter the “intern” “Ben Whittaker”, 70 -years-old (De Niro) a retro, retired phone- book salesman (the irony is obvious), looking for boundaries, parameters, stimulation in his life; yoga, cooking and Mandarin classes are poor substitutes for fulfillment; his indoctrination and relationship with the company’s millennials provides gleeful chortles, especially in a founder-endorsed heist. Ben and Jules go through traditional, predictable rejection/acceptance/dependence phases before culminating in a legitimate friendship.
Writer/director Nancy Meyers (“Something’s Gotta Give”, “It’s Complicated”) has an instinctive grasp of the human condition; one scene between Ben and Jules, in a San Francisco hotel room, hums with profound honesty; poignancy of a beloved whose aura clings long after death; challenges of forgiveness; gray areas are beautifully delineated.
“The Intern” because of the actors sublime professionalism, coats the viewers with a graceful warmth, comfortably appreciated and accepted.