Robert De Niro has more acting chops in his finger…nay, his eye brows…nay, his DEAD FINGERNAILS, than most actors do in their whole bodies!
Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway star in this Nancy Meyers directed tender comedy. Ben Whittaker (De Niro), a 70 year old retired widower seeking excitement in life, enters a senior internship program where he’s assigned to the online company’s young, incredibly diligent, career-driven CEO, Jules Ostin (Hathaway). Jules initially thinks that a senior intern working for her is a preposterous idea but soon learns that Ben’s experience and soothing attitude is exactly what she needs in her life at the moment.
Judging from the trailers I saw, I knew The Intern was going to be a mushfest and I was right. No one’s gonna come out of that movie without feeling all gooey and nice inside and missing their grandparents. There’s not much story to go on in this movie, but if there was any take away from it, it’d be the lasting good vibes Robert De Niro’s Ben Whittaker imparts, the personal realization that suits are and will always be awesome, and the advocacy that chivalry is absolutely not dead.
The entire film was delightful. It was funny and sweet and tugged on all the right heartstrings. My only gripe was how abrupt the film ends. Just when I thought the film was going somewhere intense and profound, it suddenly rolled the credits. On top of that, it was such an odd and jarring conclusion. The premise offered plenty of opportunity for a deeper examination of life, age, experience and relationships, but Meyer’s script never dares to be more than the crowd-pleasing movie that it was.
But one thing is for sure, there was not one weak link in that cast. Simple as the plot may have been, the talented cast did not ever make me lose interest.
Robert De Niro was amazing. Everything he did spelled A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E. (And that’s not usually a word you associate with tough-as-nails actor) He was very old-man sweet and exceedingly charming. His every scene was calming – he spoke with a gentle voice, had a perpetually soft expression on his face, and his body language radiated modesty and respect at the same time. That man has a sharp command of every crevice, every fiber, every little corner of his face and body.
And to think, he didn’t really have a whole lot of dialogue. Practically all he did the whole time was react to the other characters. And whatever minimal dialogue he DID have (and as Jules pointed out in the movie), was always the right thing to say at the right time.
Anne Hathaway on the other hand had the daunting task of delivering the more hard hitting dramatic moments; but it’s a task she’s all too familiar with. She was her usual enchanting self but is able to turn the dial up to full drama mode when it’s called for; but only just enough that it doesn’t feel over the top.
But what really sold this movie was the amazing on screen father-daughter chemistry between De Niro and Hathaway. They feel so comfortable with each other, even though it’s actually their first film together. Their relationship is SO legit that it never went to creeper territory (and it could SO easily have gone there). Their combined charisma made The Intern an utter joy to watch.
The rest of the cast were no slackers either. The supporting characters, all of them, were so much fun! The office boys rapport with each other and with De Niro was a hoot to watch. Adam DeVine’s Jason in particular is the same character he plays in all his movies but he’s hilarious nonetheless, especially in one particularly hysterical scene with Jules’ assistant Becky. There was also a small cameo from a prominent young actor (that I won’t spoil) that also added to the movie’s quirky, light-hearted allure. The palpable office camaraderie no doubt provided this movie with a lot of humor and heart.
Also, JoJo Kushner, who plays Jules’ daughter Paige, totally lights up the room every time she’s on screen! I’m not exaggerating! I smile up to my ears every time I see her!
Kudos to the Nancy Meyers, who wrote and directed the film, for her very solid script. It was consistently funny and straightforward. For lack of a better way of saying this, it just made me feel really, really, GOOD! (Super articulate, I know.)
Just like Ben Whittaker, The Intern wasn’t complicated or loud. It just stayed its very pleasant self. While it could have aimed a bit higher or challenged itself more, it was nevertheless an amusing, earnest and comforting watch. Thanks in huge part to the massively talented Robert De Niro, who was tenaciously kind and adorable. He was the nicest man on the planet – the complete opposite of what you picture out when you hear that name. Even though it’s unlikely that THAT nice a guy still exists in the world, De Niro plays it well enough for us to believe that maybe he still does.
*Photos are from The Intern’s official Facebook page.