As I get older, I’m finding that I really appreciate movies that are well thought out, well written, well acted, and put together all of those pieces to feel effortless. By that, I mean that you can sit down and watch a movie and not feel challenged by it, not feel overwhelmed by it, but feel entertained with an emotional connection and real engagement.
It’s also fun to see actors having fun taking roles that are out of character.
So we have The Intern, a fairly simple and predictable story that still has enough charm and is done well enough to merit a great deal of appreciation.
The story is easy: a young wife and mother (Anne Hathaway) starts up an internet-based clothing company quickly gains popularity and grows too quickly. This brings with it the expected challenges: the business struggles and stresses as the investors are demanding a CEO be hired to run the company, and the need to spend a great deal of time away from her husband and family so she can oversee the company.
Meanwhile, a retired widower (Robert DeNiro) decides that he’s had enough time being retired–travel, visiting family, and the like–and decides to re-engage in life. So he responds to an ad seeking seniors to work as interns in local businesses in Brooklyn.
DeNiro is matched with Hathaway’s company, and is assigned to Hathaway herself (who is supposed to set the example for the rest of the business on the importance of the intern program). So for the rest of the movie, we see how the intern’s experience in business and life help Hathaway through the difficulties she’s facing.
So yes, the movie is predictable. You know from the minute it starts that everything is going to turn out great (otherwise, there wouldn’t be much of a movie). But that’s really okay because the film takes us on a wonderful ride that everyone can relate to, regardless of who you are. It’s emotional without being deeply emotional, bringing both laughs and tears. It’s well paced and never gets dry or boring. And while the central message is that the experience of age can help inexperienced youth in their lives, it isn’t a heavy-handed application of the thought.
And really, one of the highlights is seeing DeNiro really have fun with being a character that seems so atypical when compared to the rest of his body of work.
For what it is, it’s an excellent movie, and a lot of fun to watch. Four out of Five Stars.