The Intern - This Movie Pleasantly Rocks The Grey Buck
Dir: Nancy Meyers
Starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo
Nancy Meyers has always been a little bit Nora Ephron-lite. And her latest certainly fall into that category. That being said, Meyers does plough something of a unique furrow in that she makes gentle comedies for a mature audience, that bother to develop nuanced character and look at life’s foibles from a conservative but nonetheless warm perspective.
Here she moves between the marginalisation of old folk and the pressures of being a have-it-all working mum. De Niro, in pleasurably subdued mode, tackles the former as a 70 year old retiree, hired as the intern of a young powerhouse online fashion start up supremo – a splendid Hathaway, bringing to life the latter of Meyers’ themes.
What follows is for the most part predictable – the young will glean knowledge from the experience of their elders, said young will also take those lessons and find their own way in the world, jokes will be made about De Niro’s ability to still get a stiffie at his age – that kinda thing.
And true to form Meyers delivers all of this in her usual entertainingly pristine way. As ever there is an ever-present tinkly piano score to let you know what you’re thinking/feeling, and a smattering of pop hits from a couple of years back to make it all feel a tad more contemporary. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Meyers works to a formula and it works. This is a movie that is almost impossible to dislike, which in its own way is something of an achievement.
Although it does take a decidedly weird and out of place turn around half way through when De Niro and the boys from the office head off on a 10-minute Ocean’s 11 style break in – a scene that reeks of test screening/studio interference.
It works best when it relaxes into the comforting and comfortable arms of its two leads. De Niro, who so often approaches comedy as a gurning competition, is delightfully restrained here, and all the stronger for it. But it is Hathaway, who at her best channels Audrey Hepburn with a distinctly contemporary touch, who constantly proves a delight. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the Julia Roberts of her generation. And yes, that is meant as a huge compliment.
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