Kyle Stevens, author of Mike Nichols: Sex, Language and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism is here to review Anne Hathaway's latest.
The Intern follows 70-year-old and retired Ben, played by Robert de Niro (who has never seemed more like a Bobby). Having enjoyed a happy and prosperous life, Ben now finds himself so uninspired by endless leisure activities that he decides he deserves another go on the merry-go-round. He lands the film’s titular position at a women’s clothing startup created and run by Anne Hathaway’s Jules, who, we are told, is a difficult woman to work for despite all evidence to the contrary. Ben and Jules become friends, as Jules realizes that even an old be-suited, briefcased, handkerchief carrying man—the icon of conservative, 1950s patriarchy—may have worth. Disturbing as this is, especially at first, The Intern gives us a real man-woman friendship—that rarest of on-screen sights, even if it is here rendered “safe” by Ben’s age.
De Niro and Hathaway shine, particularly in a hotel scene that gives them time to plumb the depth of writer and director Nancy Meyers’ characters. Meyers is one of our best character writers, but The Intern’s frenzied workplace setting doesn’t afford us time to fall in love with her creations as we did in, say, Something’s Gotta Give (2003), where Meyers simply put the camera in front of Diane Keaton and let her go. [more...]