Monday, September 28, 2015

Theatrical Review: The Intern

Date: Sunday September 28 2015
Time: 1:45pm
Location: Pocono Movieplex
Party: 2 (my mom and I)

Writer/Director: Nancy Meyers

Ben Whittaker- Robert DeNiro
Jules Ostin- Anne Hathaway
Matt Ostin- Anders Holm
Cameron- Andrew Rannells
Jason- Adam DeVine
Davis- Zack Pearlman
Lewis- Jason Orley
Becky- Christina Scherer
Fiona- Rene Russo

Duration: 121 minutes (+3 trailers)


Early Remarks

It was a quiet day at the movies, but then maybe most of the people were out seeing the newest "Hotel Transylvania" movie... I still haven't seen the first one, but plan on it as soon as I get the opportunity. We were one of three pairs that were in the theater- the rest being male and female. Either the girls dragged the guys to the movie with them or this is a good date movie.

Although the TV went crazy with trailers for this movie over the past month (most of which were the same trailer-- after I complained aloud, apparently someone was listening and they decided to diversify a bit)...
I have to thank for telling me about this movie. Here's the article I read last month:
Honestly, I was sold at Anne Hathaway. Why so many people hate her, I will never understand. She's a great actress, but also has a nice girl-next-door image. Plus, she gives brown eyed brunettes like myself hope that we can rock it as well as the blondes out there.


Honestly, how many times am I going to have to sit through that same damn Superman/Batman trailer before it comes out next year? And no, that doesn't mean I want them to saturate theaters for multiple trailers.
I haven't even seen the recent Superman movie (heck, I only just saw the original movie last year) and I really don't feel up for it. And the notion that Superman isn't universally loved... WTF is Zack Snyder thinking with that twist? Meanwhile, everyone else will still complain about Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg. I'm more excited for the new Wonder Woman movie (and that's only based on 10 seconds of footage of her in this movie).
And of course I will be sore if that beats the new Captain America movie next year...

Trailer 2 is another movie-based-on-a-book... but the amount of apocalyptic tones in "The 5th Wave"... it was TERRIFYING. YA fiction or not, disaster movies are not my kind of movie... especially when the effects are that realistic.

Then there's another trailer for "Pan"... I'd love another Peter Pan movie, especially where he's being played by a boy [although Alison Williams made me believe in her magic in NBC's Live production of it]. Except Captain Hook sounds like a cowboy rather than a pirate and the early reviews are panning the movie.

Reviews and Premise

I read some good reviews of this movie... then a couple days before, I came across some negative ones. Leonard Maltin, one of the great critics, said it was too sweet and overlong. And a write-up in our paper said that it was too sweet and really didn't have enough drama for him to care about it. [For the record, the two good reviews: one was male, one was female].

But just like with "The Holiday," anything Nancy Meyers is probably geared more towards
women than men. I went over my review of that movie recently I compared it to " cozying up under a blanket either with a cup of hot chocolate and/or by a warm fireplace."

The same could be said about this movie. And like with "The Holiday," it's more of a character-driven movie. Opposed to being plot driven. The important thing is that these characters are genuine and you want to spend a couple hours peering into their lives. For people like me and my mom, this is our type of movie.

And probably the best part about it is that it's a break from our routine theatrical experiences. We've seen a lot of dramatic dystopian YA book adaptations as well as some animated movies that were cute, but not necessarily thought-provoking ("Inside Out" might have been the exception to that, but we didn't see it).

The basic story is that Robert DeNiro plays a 70-year old widower that accepts an ad for a senior internship at an Ecommerce company. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, but he just isn't satisfied with remaining stagnant in his retirement.
The head of this 18-month old start-up online fashion company, "About The Fit," is played by Anne Hathaway. She's the kind of person who likes to be involved in every aspect so business runs smoothly. We first see her handling one of the customer service calls and riding a bicycle from one corner of the building to another.
She's also a private person that doesn't like to get close to anyone outside her husband and daughter. So things are bound to get interesting when he is hired and is assigned to work directly under her.

Other Cast Members
Other than our two stars, I mostly listed the other interns and co-workers Ben Whittaker worked with the most closely.
Davis is the only non-senior intern and he's like a cross between Josh Gad and Zack Galifianakis. He's average looking, bearded and trips over his words sometimes.
Lewis is a nerdy co-worker that gets a little bit of a makeover-- he starts wearing collared shirts, all beginning when he has to make a delivery what he believes to be Jay Z's place.
Becky is Jules (Anne Hathaway's) nervous assistant who runs a million things at once and is a little bit disorganized.
Jason is another co-worker who has a crush on Becky and spends much of the movie trying to get her back (she blew him off after he slept with her roommate). I knew Adam DeVine as Bumper from "Pitch Perfect" and it's nice to see him play a role I like. Bumper was just too damn egotistical and obnoxious.
Cameron is played by Andrew Rannells... I knew him from Ryan Murphy's short-lived series "The New Normal"... between him and Justin Bartha, he was easily the more flamboyant of the two... but yeah, loved that show. We see Jules and Cameron have several business meetings/conversations throughout the movie. He grounds her reality, particularly when reminding her of the main crisis throughout this movie-- the investors of her company want her to hire a CEO.

And Rene Russo is a scene-stealer as the company masseuse, Fiona. She and Ben Whittaker hit it off famously.
It's particularly hilarious in one scene where the two of them go public and that public includes this older woman who'd been pushing him for another dinner date.

Back to the Stars...

At the end of the day, it really is about the two main characters :D at least that's my opinion.
Like I said, Jules is a very private person that doesn't like to get close to other people. When the other co-workers get wind of Ben being assigned to work under her, they give their condolences. He has one meeting with her where she says she won't have much for him to do and it's ages before he gets an email to help her with anything.

One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet... he becomes her chauffer when he spies her driving drinking while waiting for her and makes him an offer he can't refuse... of course it isn't as drastic as anything Vito Corleone had done, but he muscles him out all the same.
He makes a bunch of observations about her, some he vocalizes and some he doesn't. Whatever the case, Jules sends an email to Cameron to transfer Ben to another department because she's afraid to let him in... and in true Hollywood fashion, she changes her mind just as her order gets carried out.

At this point, I'm not sure how much more I really want to say about this movie... it's best to just lay back and enjoy the ride with these two. The writing is very sweet, but it also has a lot of heart and it's funny and again, you learn more about people as you get to know them.

I don't know what made Robert DeNiro decide to take on a bunch of lighter family-friendly roles in recent years, but I like the change. It's certainly better than his character in the "Meet the Parents" franchise.
But I'd also seen him in "Taxi Driver" (an intriguing-borderline-terrifying anti-hero), "Goodfellas" and "The Godfather: Part II" (his portrayal of a younger Vito Corleone... wow... I respected the hell out of him... which makes for an interesting comparison to Michael- Vito was a man of a respect and Michael was someone I became increasingly furious with as that movie progressed).

Seeing Jules be changed by Ben Whittaker's presence in her life... that's probably the biggest thing I took away from this movie...
She's a strong female character that achieved so much on her own, but getting beyond that and finding honesty in her own emotions... all part of the journey.

Grade: A

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