It's been a while we saw Robert De Niro like this but this film is proof he still has what it takes. He sells his role as the pensioner who wants to keep busy and it was nice to see him as a positive social and gentle minded person for once. If only he would have gotten a better plot.
There is none. We basically follow around boss Jules (Anne Hathaway) and her intern Ben (Robert De Niro) where for the most part nothing eventful happens. There are several highlights but with one scene in particular that is very funny. However one thing that was bothering me throughout how the world in this film was so fake. There wasn't a single moment of conflict. Everybody is extremely nice and even Jules who is supposed to be this incredibly strict and demanding boss never really is cold hearted or mean. But worse was how The Intern is so far removed from reality that everything becomes too sweet and perfect. Because let us be real for a moment. Thriving new internet companies hiring old people? Are you kidding me? We live in a world where you already too old if you hit 22 and I am supposed to believe that someone is hiring old people to work for them in a business where basically all the employees are numbers and can be replaced by anyone? Highly unlikely. Although I was willing to go with the what if scenario, where through some comedic moments, we would get exposed to some criticism towards business and their attitudes towards their employees these days. The Intern doesn't do anything of the sort. Ben fits in right from the start and he keeps being the perfect guy throughout. Seriously I embrace escapism but even I have my limits. Then there is the family versus work thing. This film is trying to convince you that it is doable to have a family and be the boss of a big and successful company. In theory I agree. But let us be real again. If your work requires you to be meeting and dealing with people 24/7 you won't be able to spend time with your family as much. Of course there might be ways to combine both worlds. The comprise though would always come with a cost. Your kid could be the most understanding and sweetest child ever. Will he or she still be if you keep forgetting or canceling your appointments with him or her? Truth is that if you want to have the best of both worlds it will be hard and require a lot of good communication and good will of the people involved. I do think that you should always follow your dream and that when you are at your happiest you will be able to manage things a whole lot better. But I also think you should be realistic about it and acknowledge that you will have to compromise and thus it will be unavoidable to disappoint people. The Intern doesn't even attempt to go into this matter more deeply. It again is presented as a matter of choice and luxury whereas people in the real world don't have that choice at all.
This film plays it safe through and through with the result of nothing really happening and leaving you with very little. The one moment where you would be expecting some fireworks it remains too cute and silent. And then the film just ends. Despite this I do not feel like this film is a waste of time. It does just enough to keep you entertained. I only wished that it would have taken more risks.