THE Intern hits UK cinemas today, Quays News entertainment reporter Rachel Foy went down to take an early look…
American comedy, The Intern, starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, is a touching story with charismatic characters, that grows on the audience from scene to scene with the humour of the workplace and has a spirit which is retro-sexist.
Ben Whittaker, played by Robert De Niro, is a 70-year-old widower, who discovers that retirement isn’t up to his expectations. An opportunity as a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and independently run by Jules Ostin, played by Anne Hathaway, attracts Ben’s attention and will ultimately get him back in work. Having worked in the business industry for 40 years as an executive at a phone directory, Ben is the perfect candidate for the internship.
However, with the doubtfulness of the full-time ‘working mom’ Jules, he seizes the opportunity to try and help in her times of need. On one occasion Jules’ driver is caught by Ben for being drunk at work. He forces the driver to tell Jules he cannot drive her on that day and Ben himself takes over as her chauffeur and in doing so Jules warms to his ‘gentlemanly’ charm.
Whilst Ben is at the fashion site he meets Fiona, the in-house massage therapist- played by Rene Russo, and becomes a mentor or ‘father-figure’ toward the younger workers, including Jules. Gaining Jules’ trust takes a lot of effort and commitment. For example he and his group of co-workers broke into her mother’s house to save Jules from a nightmare after she sent an inadvertent and offensive email.
Meanwhile Jules is going through some trouble with her business and considers hiring a CEO to help her at ‘About the Fit’, hoping that it may professionalize her company as it started out in her kitchen and within 18 months became successful with 210 employees. Being a successful working mother, Jules doesn’t get to spend much time with her daughter, Paige or her husband Matt,played by Anders Holm; she also anticipates that hiring a CEO will give her more time at home.
Ben drives Jules’ daughter Paige to a party when Matt is ‘ill’ and on his return journey, he learns that Matt is having affair with a woman associated with Paige’s school. As a result Ben is stuck with whether he should tell Jules, but on a business trip to San Francisco, he finds out that Jules already knows that Matt is cheating on her.
In order to save her marriage she accepts a prospective offer from an outside CEO. However Ben discourages her from taking the CEO’s offer and helps her think of how without her authority and creativity the company may not be what it is today. Matt also drops by the office and owns up to his mistake and is willing to make their marriage work if she reconsiders the offer. Afterwards she tries to find Ben to tell him that she has dropped the idea of a CEO and is back on track with Matt. However she finds him at taking a Tai Chi exercise class, she eventually lets herself relax, joining him and consequently ending the movie.
Generating a series of monologues about ambition and relationships, ‘The Intern’ gains the audiences love, even though there are hints of a ‘chick-flick’, it is definitely motivational and enjoyable for both men and women. With De Niro and Hathaway creating a great team on screen, the bond they create is exactly what makes it a ‘feel-good’ film and earns the audiences compassion and with a finale that will please any crowd.
Rated: PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language
Duration: 2 hours, 1 minute