The Intern is a film that follows 70-year-old widower, Ben Whittaker, who has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as he seizes an opportunity to get back in the game as a senior intern at an online fashion site founded and run by Jules Ostin.
When thinking of on-screen pairings, whether it be romantic or friendly, The Intern provides to be one of the most interesting. As opposite as Jules (Hathaway) and Ben (De Niro) may be, these two individuals learn a lot more from each other then what you may think. And before you can assume anything about the film, De Niro and Hathaway’s character’s don’t fall in love with each other and it’s delivered to be more of a (grand) father//daughter relationship. Hathaway’s character has a family and De Niro finds a romantic interest in Rene Russo’s in-house massage therapist. Although these relationships do take a part in the story, it’s not something that’s entirely focused on as De Niro becomes a confidante, empowering career mothers.
With The Intern, writer//director Nancy Meyers has kept in check with many of her recent films with having strong, opinionated, successful females leading her films against many male-dominated Hollywood films that grace our screens. Although the film may have had it’s stranger moments, it doesn’t hesitate to tackle the idea of the “working mum” who started up and now runs a successful online business.
There are a couple of moments in which you can guess what may happen next, and I know I wasn’t the only one in the cinema who thought it was a little frustrating that (spoiler alert) Jules ended up staying with her husband after she finds out that he has been cheating on her with another mum at her daughters school that’s very critical of Jules’ hard working lifestyle. Jules’s response to her husband’s infidelity isn’t one to fall in love with a co-worker or to divorce him, although this is discussed but she ultimately decides to stay with him. It’s rather she wants to give him a second chance and that their love for each other will be enough to end his affair. The audience in the screening I attended agreed with Ben’s response in thinking that Jules may be a little naïve in thinking this but you can’t deny that it was a definitively gutsy move to put aside hurt feelings to offer forgiveness and choose to remain a family.
It was god to see De Niro tackling something a little more light hearted but I do have to say that I don’t think I’ve seen Hathaway cry so many times in a single film…unless Les Miserablescounts? This film proves that both Hathaway and De Niro are able to balance both a dramatic film as well as something more comedic, with De Niro showing he still has a unique comedic timing that was also showcased in Meet The Parents. It’s really nice to watch De Niro and Hathaway interact on screen with their dynamics heartfelt and genuine.
The Intern is a relatable film, especially if it’s a mother and daughter in attendance, but it shouldn’t be limited to just the female audience as it definitely has something the husbands, the boyfriends, or the male persuasion can enjoy as De Niro’s character proves to be a one that can be connected with.