Friday, September 25, 2015
The Intern 
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RogerEbert.com (G. Kenny) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review
The Intern  (written and directed by Nancy Meyers) was a GENERALLY very nice -- parents see the end of my otherwise glowing review -- dramedy about 70 year-old, widowed for several years retiree, Ben (played wonderfully throughout by Robert DeNiro in probably his BEST (!) performance in 10 years), who after several years of said widow(er)hood / retirement, decided that he's not yet ready to throw himself on the funeral pyre and/or "just die."
Walking back from a morning of Tai Chi in a park in his native Brooklyn, he comes across a flier posted on a kiosk by a local (fashion) e-commerce startup company called "About the Fit" looking for "Senior Interns." Interestingly, the flier asks that applicants be seniors (65 and older) but also asks them to submit, electronically, a video clip of themselves talking of their experience / job expectations. It's an interesting request which seeks to utilize the wisdom of seniors while asking them to be also interested / capable of presenting themselves in a savvy manner in the present.
Ben, like MANY other Seniors (with experiences of following their grandkids on Facebook, et al ;-), acknowledges a little help from said grand-kids, but puts together a pretty good, indeed dead-on, video of himself to submit for the job ... and he gets it.
Now, of course, if his character couldn't do this, there'd be no movie. But writer/director Meyers, reminds us that we shouldn't be surprised that Ben, a 70 year old retiree, but who had spent 30+ of his 40+ years of working in middle management would probably find the skills to pull this off, which, of course, Ben does.
So then Ben lands the senior intern job and for the first time in years has someplace to (regularly) go to. But would he be accepted at the job? This then is the rest of the movie.
Now the film is NOT harsh, indeed, it is WONDERFULLY KIND. But still there is that question:
Can a 70 year old, that yes, knows how to know, reasonably well, how to get around a laptop function effectively indeed CREATIVELY in the world of 20-30 something run e-commerce startups? And his boss Jules (played again wonderfully by Anne Hathaway), said fashion e-commerce startup complany creator isn't particularly convinced, certainly not at the start of this "Senior intern experiment" foisted on her by one of her also late-20 / early-30-something partners. (Note of course, that earlier in her career Hathaway herself famously played an intern (to Merryl Streep's) in another fashion oriented film called The Devil Wears Prada  ;-).
In the current film, it's clear that "business is booming." At one point Jules shares to Ben / Viewers that her company had started a few years before with "a group of 12" and now had over 200 employees. But it was almost booming too much. "Back in the day" (only said 2 years past...), Jules could be totally engaged / involved in everything from shipping to web design to customer service. Now with 200+ employees that was untenable. What to do? How to get help, quickly, at low cost? Well that was part of the reason why Jules' partner suggested getting a couple of "senior interns" (who had a lot of experience) and why he also suggested looking into finding even a C.E.O. (not her) to manage the implementation of the decisions of the company (the partners).
But could she let go? It was "ALL SOOO EASY when things were still small." Add to the mix the reality that Jules, as a young, vibrant, late-20 / early 30-something, was married, her husband, not at the firm, being Matt (played by Anders Holm) and together they had a cute as a button 5-6 year old Paige (played by Jojo Kushner).
So this was Jules' WONDERFUL but "bursting at the seams" world ... And yet, how does one manage all this, without eventually "crashing and burning(out)."
Enter, of course, wonderfully, 70-year old intern Ben, who can't possibly move anymore as fast as Jules, but has the experience to appreciate what she's achieved and make sense of it (for her) so that it can be sustained.
THIS IS A GREAT MOVIE about the Value of Wisdom. And who knows, if the film's marketing folks are smart enough, they'll have it available for streaming / DVD purchase come Christmas time for the film's fans' parents and grandparents.
So generally good / great job over all.
HOWEVER, I do have to note to PARENTS OF YOUNG KIDS AND TEENS that I do agree with the CNS / USCCB's reviewer John Mulderig that a couple of the scenes involving the company's late-40-something / early-50 something masseuse Fiona (played by Rene Russo) are needlessly / even stupidly "over-the-top" and take the film that would have been A LOVELY PG movie for the whole family into ARGUABLY R-rated territory. This is unfortunate and forces me to give the film 3-stars rather than the 4-stars or even 4+ that it would have otherwise deserved.
Still this is a lovely film that 20-somethings and above should be able to appreciate and view with their parents / grandparents.
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