Nancy Myers comedy drama The Intern hits the notes expected from the writer-director. The film is entertaining throughout, with a thoughtful message at its core.
Bored of the retired life, widower Ben Whittaker looks for ways to fill his days. He decides to apply for a job as a senior intern. Ben is placed with creative Jules Ostin, the busy founder of an online site…
Those acquainted with other Nancy Myers films will instantly recognise the tone and style of The Intern. The film has a familiar feel, setting and set up as other Myers’ pictures. The New York setting is sleek, feelings are deep and meaningful, and real-life issues are dealt with. This is not really a bad thing; most viewers will know what to expect from The Intern. And the film offers a little more besides.
At its heart, The Intern is about an inter-generational friendship. Other aspects, such as professional and romantic relationships are merely strands to the central story. The burgeoning friendship between Ben and Jules is pleasant to watch, with other elements of their lives working to provide need for this unusual relationship.
The comedy in The Intern works fairly well. The humour is light, focussing heavily on differences between the generations. Thankfully, the film eschews the jokes about Ben not understanding anything modern, for the most part at least. The Intern‘s more dramatic sequences are also well executed, with sufficient occurrences present to give the film more emotional depth.
The reflections of both Ben and Jules illustrate the differences in time and generations. What is more striking is the stance the film takes regarding career and family life for contemporary women. Whilst the outcome of the film may not be wholly satisfying for all, the messages in the significance of choice, the importance of career, and the duty of balancing aspects of life are certainly welcome and relevant.
The Intern may not have worked as well if it was not for the great chemistry between Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. As it stands, those who enjoy Myers’ films are unlikely to be disappointed.