The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.
The Intern (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Written & Directed by Nancy Meyers
The Intern is a funny and cute and fairly enjoyable movie with two of my favorite actors. I thoroughly enjoyed the first ninety minutes or so. I laughed a lot. I smiled through most of it and laughed more than I thought I would. The Intern was so good for an hour and a half. I kept asking myself why this movie didn’t do better at the box office. This is a fun movie. And then something happened. I don’t know what happened. It just lost all sense of joy. The last thirty minutes of The Intern is like a completely different film. It’s so bad. I can’t tell you how bad the movie gets without spoiling it. So… Here we go.
The Intern is the whimsical little story of retired widower Robert DeNiro who takes a job as an intern at an online start-up. A clothing company run by Anne Hathaway. Well not Anne Hathaway but a character she’s playing. And the intern isn’t actually Robert DeNiro. You know what, I’m just going to assume from here on that you know how movies work.
I really liked the story. I really liked the rest of the young cast and of course Robert DeNiro is extremely likable and cute as the retiree. Anne Hathaway, who I seem to like more than most people, is great here too as the overworked CEO. Everything was going well. The movie was fun and funny and all the characters were evolving nicely. Minor characters. Major characters. All good. It was like watching a full season of an award-winning workplace sitcom. (this story would make a great sitcom)
Then depression sets in. It’s like Nancy Meyers didn’t know what hurdle to put in her heroes way. And what she decides comes way out of left field. All of sudden Anne Hathaway is crying (I have no problem with tears). Her husband is cheating (I have no problem with cheating). DeNiro and her are in a hotel in their robes on a bed. (That kind of bothered me). It’s a really awkward scene. What the hell is Nancy doing?
The movie feels like a Romantic Comedy except that the two romantic leads are not compatible or destined or even attracted to each other. And they aren’t going to fall in love and we all know it. They’re falling in friendship. And I thought that was amazing. A beautiful twist on the RomCom genre. Loved the cast. Loved the plot. So enjoyable… for a while.
It feels like Nancy Meyers used a RomCom template to write The Intern. She’s written enough really good Romantic Comedies that she probably has a formula. But this felt like she was writing blind. It’s like she needed to have the two main characters end up in bed together even though it made no sense. So she created this stupid trip to California and a straight out of left field infidelity story and all of a sudden this wasn’t the movie we were just watching. And why are Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in bed?
The Intern is straight up bait and switch. And at the end, after all the weirdness, it feels like the writer just runs out of steam and ends the movie in a huff. In a sort of – I don’t know. Whatever – the end. Leaving the audience with nothing changed since the San Francisco melt down. The CEO stays with her husband. She stays with her job. The Intern stays an intern even though he should be running the place. Nothing happens. Nothing changes. Nobody learns anything. The End. Roll the credits. Thank you for your money.
The Intern is a good idea for a movie that didn’t have an ending so writer and director Nancy Meyers just decided to annoy the audience for the final half hour with a conflict that came out of nowhere and went nowhere.
But man the first ninety minutes were pretty damn good.