When Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) realizes retirement isn’t all that he thought it be, he decides to get back in the workforce. Realizing this is what he wants, he becomes a senior intern for Jules Ostin’s (Anne Hathaway) online fashion site and works as her personal intern. What follows next, is your run of the mill lighthearted, feel-good comedy that is better than most.
“The Intern” was a well written comedy for about the first three-fourths of the movie. The story was refreshing because it didn’t just focus on an old guy who works for young people that doesn’t know how to use technology. Instead the comedy comes from De Niro’s character teaching all of these younger people that rely so heavily on technology how to function without it both within the workplace and in their personal lives.
While De Niro himself does fine and thankfully doesn’t phone it in, much of the comedic timing comes from Adam DeVine as Jason, a longtime employee, and Zack Pearlman as Davis, the only young intern. Those two are the driving force behind almost every comedic scene and help elevate the rest of the cast. In addition to having great comedic actors, “The Intern” also makes sure it varies up the delivery of the jokes that way the audience isn’t bored and stays focused.
As enjoyable as the first seventy five percent of the movie was what is done with the last quarter ruins a lot of the positivity and humor of what came before. There is a turning point in the movie that exiles humor from the movie and turns it into a serious drama. The inclusion of that turning point and the sub-plot it develops into don’t even need to be in the movie in the first place. Without it, the director could have continued using the semi-serious subplot that still had elements of humor.
Instead that gets scrapped and is never resolved and the audience is left with a completely different ending that is so far from the original tone of the movie it’s a wonder how this even became the finale.
Anne Hathaway is also a major letdown in this movie playing a character that doesn’t grow or develop in any way throughout the movie. Her performance falls flat partial due to how her character was written, but also because Hathaway herself doesn’t seem interested in her character and doesn’t have but a handful of jokes through the entire movie.
As a comedy “The Intern” is able to excel as what it is, a feel-good comedy and is better than most others attempting to do the same. A simplistic plot provides a good backdrop for great comedic timing and variation. While De Niro’s performance is just what this movie needed, Hathaway is left with a character seemingly written only for the last part of the movie making her performance boring for the audience and herself.
While the last part of the movie is a detour that didn’t need to be taken that lands with a thud, the rest of the movie is mostly a job well done.