The Intern, at first glance, may be indiscernible from every Nancy Meyers movie made since the mid-nineties. But beneath the formulaic atmosphere, the film raises simple yet profound questions about age and gender in today’s society. It reminds us that while we struggle to keep up with the speed at which the world rushes forward, classic wisdom will always resonate. 

‘The Intern’ Movie Review

Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is a retired widower who is having trouble finding satisfaction and meaning within the autumn of his life. He has tried everything from travel to yoga to forget the fact that he lives in a big empty home and has no real reason to do anything. When he finds a flyer looking for senior citizens to work for an online start-up as interns, Ben decides to take a chance. The Millennial-filled office thinks that Ben in his business suit is pretty novel, but Ben is simply confused by the work culture of t-shirts and sneakers. Ben is assigned as the personal intern of Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the do-it-all founder of the company that she slaves for day and night.

She refuses her new intern’s help in any way possible. But Ben’s hands won’t stay empty as long as he can help it. Before long he becomes an Irremovable feature in Jules’ life: a mentor, confidant and fiercely loyal aid.

Issues of women in the workplace, especially recent controversy of male domination in the world of tech start-ups are addressed. When doubts about Jules’ ability to take on the growing workload she shoulders, the venture capitalists who have some say in her company’s future demand that she hires a CEO. This could not only save her marriage and personal life, but it would also mean that she would no longer be in control of the company she built from the ground up. But all the potential CEOs she interviews are misogynistic and out of touch with what her vision is about. Ben is able to advise her on the right thing to do for her and her family.

The Intern asks the question of what ever happened to men who took pride in their appearance and mannerisms. How could we go from “a world of guys like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford” to men who generally have little to no personal style or charm. The gender-gap comedy of the The Intern is refreshing and relevant.

Why can’t we carry old-world values into the tech age? Why shouldn’t men put on a suit to go to work and carry a handkerchief for no other reason than to offer it? Maybe the lessons are not as straightforward as that, but our wayward world could possibly do with some tradition.

Pictured: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro

 

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