When Mabel invited me and Jo to a free screening of new dramedy The Intern @ 1Utama, I had no idea what to expect. I had not heard of the movie and didn’t even know it starred two big names: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.
So imagine my pleasant surprise to find out that the movie was pretty enjoyable (A welcome change from the slew of bad movies that Hollywood seems to keep churning out lately)! Of course it’s no Stanley Kubrick, but like movies such as The Hundred Foot Journey, it will leave you feeling fuzzy and warm on the inside after the film.
It’s no secret that Western societies are young-centric; more so in a place like consumer-based, fast-paced New York, where there is no room for the old and jaded. The Intern is a fun tribute to the older generation, with the underlying message that sometimes, we have to slow down and appreciate the world around us.
Ben Whittaker (de Niro) is a retired 70-year-old widower, who signs up for the ‘senior citizen internship’ programme offered by a major fashion retail company. He is accepted as an intern under Jules Osten (Hathaway), the no-nonsense but passionate CEO who thinks of Ben as a chore she has to take up to set a good example to other employees. Thinking that there is no possible way an oldie like Ben will be able to add value to the company, Jules initially snubs him, giving him menial tasks and wanting to transfer him to a different department.
But as time goes on, she finds herself opening up more and more to Ben, welcoming him into her own life as both friend, mentor and fatherly figure. As Jules struggles to maintain order in her own company and a marriage that is falling apart due to her work commitments, she turns to Ben for precious life lessons and help her to get through hard times.
The movie has its serious moments, but its mostly light and the jokes are funny – I found myself laughing out loud (and that’s not something that happens very often with me and comedy films!).
While the story-telling can be a bit choppy at times, and the ending felt rushed, The Intern has achieved what it set out to do – a feel-good movie you can enjoy with friends and family on a weekend that is not about blowing things up and actually teaches you a lesson in life to appreciate the wisdom of our elders. I think in Hollywood, which is a very young-centric industry, this was a welcome change.
Director: Nancy Meyers (of Parent Trap, The Holiday fame)