Nancy Meyers is known for some big-time successes and classic romantic comedies over the last couple decades, such as “The Parent Trap” (1998) and “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003). She has done it again with her 2015 film “The Intern” starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. The film takes twists and turns that you wouldn’t imagine. A classic Meyer’s film is a perfect mix of comedy and serious moments. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to watch, enjoyable, and stars two amazing actors, I highly recommend “The Intern.”
De Niro plays Ben Whitaker, a 70-year-old retired man who decides to apply for a senior citizen intern program with the an online clothing company called About the Fit, ran by Hathaway’s character, CEO Jules Ostin. Ben takes the interviewing process very seriously and makes an impressive video that immediately gets him hired. He is assigned to be the personal intern for Ostin, even though she doesn’t really care for the idea. With such an age difference, you can’t help but wonder how their relationship is going to go. It starts as merely a CEO and intern relationship and grows into a beautiful friendship between these two unlikely characters.
Hathaway and De Niro both give amazing performances. Even though they won’t get Oscars, and the film didn’t become huge at the box office, it shows their broad acting ranges. Other familiar faces in the film are Renee Russo (“Thor”), Andrew Rannells (Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”), and Adam DeVine (“Pitch Perfect”). But it’s really De Niro who shines through in the film. The scenes between him and Hathaway are special, and we have seen her in these roles before. De Niro plays an “average Joe,” and he’s good. Since he’s getting older, 72 to be exact, maybe these will be the types of films he stars in from now on. It would be a great transition for him.
The film mixes comedy and drama, but nothing too dramatic. Ostin is asked by her coworkers and husband to look into hiring another CEO so that she can step down from all her work. She’s not fond of the idea but wants to do what’s best for her family and company. Whitaker sees that this isn’t how she would want it to be and helps her to decide the company’s fate. Along the way, the two become close and share some personal details that definitely bring on the tears. They also share a lot of laughs, especially with Whitaker being so “outdated” with the world. For instance, Ostin tells him that he can dress casually for work, but he insists on wearing a suit every day. He also opens the door for her, carries her things, and becomes her driver. The sheer generosity of Whitaker will make you fall in love with this film.
What’s great about the story is that it’s real. The main plot of the movie isn’t a romantic love tale or an inappropriate and over-the-top comedy. It shows a story that could actually happen. Austin is a feminist of today. She doesn’t believe a man needs to run her business and gets mad when a potential CEO calls her internet shopping site a “chick clothing company.” She is constantly fighting for her equal right as a female CEO and Whitaker is right next to her all the way, even saying that she has inspired him. It also makes you appreciate how wise and intelligent our senior citizens are. The friendship of Whitaker and Ostin is not something you see on the big screen very often. Hopefully, we will see more movies like this one in the future.
I give “The Intern” 4 out of 5 stars.