Growing old is never easy. There are a million and one things you have to worry about before you can rest easy. But once all your taxes have been paid and you retire, only the easy, quiet life remains. What if that easy, quiet life is not enough? That is exactly what happens in “The Intern,” a comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. Does the movie successfully convince the audience that senior citizens can have a meaningful impact on the work environment, or should we just find other ways to spend our time when we turn 70?
Seventy-yearold widower, Ben Whitaker (De Niro), has a comfortable life, but he finds it a little lacking. One day, he decides to try something radically new and partake in a Senior Internship Program at an e-commerce fashion company run by the slightly over-worked and stressed out Jules Ostin (Hathaway). Normally, people would think that this premise would mean a fish-out-of-water movie, where the outsider manages to fit in by the film’s end. Surprisingly, that is not what the movie goes for at all. If anything, Ben is the most centered and collected person in the film. Through Ben, the story teaches that life will always happen, that it is important to live it and to live it with someone.
De Niro and Hathaway have an almost unorthodox chemistry throughout the film, critical to making the movie work. But Ben is by far the most memorable person in the film. While he may be an old man in a young people’s world, his old-soul personality benefits many of the film’s main and supporting cast. This becomes evident as the advice he gives to others begins a chain reaction of positive changes that happen throughout the movie. It is definitely Ben’s interactions with other people that make the movie so memorable. Jules has her own memorable moments in the film, especially with the two dramatic subplots, which I dare not spoil. You cannot help but root for her by the time the film enters its final act, and seeing Ben’s role in it makes the end all the more satisfying.
Does “The Intern” succeed? I would say so. De Niro’s and Hathaway’s performances are absolutely fun in this movie. However, I am hesitant to say that you should see this movie in theaters. Though not a bad movie, the film lacks a blockbuster feel. This is one I would watch after a long day of work if I wanted to feel pleasant. That is how I sum up this movie: pleasant.