When 70-year-old widower Ben (Robert De Niro) gives up retirement, he becomes a senior intern for the newest online fashion company. Ben finds himself thrust into this new world with many of the employment staff much younger than him, and trying to keep up with the times. While trying to find his footing, he soon becomes the company favorite and scores big points with the Jules (Anne Hathaway), the the boss of the company. Before long, Ben and Jules develop a close bond, coming to learn that they both have the ability to help each other in their personal lives.
In the newest Nancy Meyers comedy, she takes a break from the rom-com genre and brings to audiences something more personal. While Meyers has certainly catered towards mostly adults, The Interns encompasses aspects that (while still mostly aimed at adults), younger audiences can find themselves relating to as they are about to step into the world of being an adult, developing a career, as well as potential relationships that can shape the person we can become. The film does features some very humorous moments that involve Ben trying to keep up with the latest technology (ie. Facebook, Apple Computers, texting, etc.), as well as understanding the lingo and behaviors of younger adults. But at its core is an extremely deep and heartfelt story. We have an older man well past his prime and still trying to find a place in the world of loneliness he once had. And then we have a young, powerful career woman who is trying to keep her newfound business afloat as well as balance her family life. It is only when these two characters begin to spend more time with each other that deeper emotions and their personal lives are brought to light. The relationship between Ben and Jules is extremely touching and so well-developed that you fall in love with them. If you’re thinking there is a love story here, you would be extremely wrong. There is a certain father-daughter aspect here, but in the long run it’s about these two characters finding their best friend and confidants in the most unlikely of places. And despite the age difference, you really believe this friendship is real as far as the way they treat each other and are there for one another. Essentially it’s a film that tries to close the generation gap and prove that they can very well complement each other. Along with this, the life struggles that the two characters find themselves in are ones that are very much present in the world today and actually are very big issues and how they affect those involved, and how some may choose to deal with them.
The relationship between Ben and Jules is perfected by the amazing chemistry between Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. As stated above, the actors pull off the friendship perfectly without making it look like a cheesy father-daughter type story. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this is how the actors are with each other off-camera. Not only do they play off each other well in the comical scenes, but it is the deep and heart-warming scenes that really make them knock it out of the park and show that not every on-screen pair needs to have a love story in order to have that perfect kind of chemistry. On their own, the actors perfect the act of showing their own personalities of their generations, which brings a strong sense of authenticity to the roles in order to make the story and characters feel real. De Niro provides some good laughs as he tries to adjust to this world of youngsters and easily makes you think of people like him that you’ve come across in life. The same goes for Hathaway, she plays the strong career-driven woman perfectly, but we also see her trying to capture the struggle she has of balancing her career and her family and how much each takes a toll on her. It is then during her emotional scenes when she confides in De Niro’s character that we really see Hathaway reach the core of her character and expose her, and even the scenes where she allows herself to let loose.
The Intern is that rare and special comedy that seeks to bring together different generations of people and bring about a heartfelt story with some good laughs, lovable characters, a strong sense of realism, and an extremely powerful cast. And it succeeds in every aspect.