It’s hard for me to root for Anne Hathaway. I feel that her emotions are often soulless, with the exception of Brokeback Mountain and Rachel Getting Married. Hathaway’s lack of an acting ability was one of the reasons I didn’t feel up to seeing this in theatres, but once again, I was wrong. The Intern takes place in New York, as an elderly man named, Ben Whitakker (Robert De Niro), begins work, as an intern, at a hip online clothing store.
The writing in this film is simply stunning. Director and screenwriter, Nancy Myers, who brought us films such as Something’s Gotta Give, does it again as she delivers another heartfelt and personal film. There are basically two interwoven stories throughout this film. On one hand, Myers gives us the story of Ben who needs to fill this emptiness in his life as he begins work as an intern. But on the other hand, there’s the story of a young successful woman, Jules (Hathaway), who is on the verge of being replaced as the CEO for her new company. Myers never oversteps her boundaries when it comes to a screenwriter overstating their character’s emotions. Everything, from beginning to end, was beautifully written. You actually feel for these two characters.
As important as characters go, Myers did a fantastic job casting this project. De Niro, who we often refer to his characters as tough guys, or gangsters, portrays his character, Ben, with such depth and emotion. You feel for this guy at his old age. But it is probably Hathaway’s performance that actually impressed me the most. For once, she was cute, assertive, appealing, and fun to watch. She was strong when need be, but her other side was sweet and vulnerable. In no effort to make this a feminist issue, Hathaway’s character was a woman that should be more often represented in film.
The Intern is a pleasure to watch. There are times when scenes with De Niro and the other young interns (e.g. “heist scene”) becomes a little far-fetched, but for this movie, it worked. Everything worked. The talent of the actors, as well as the writing and directing, made everything in this film meld together so well. To be honest, The Intern is not your average romantic comedy. You won’t see gobs of kissing or cuddling. This film is much more than anything we’ve seen from Myers, and in my opinion her best film yet. Here’s hoping that Myers will top this with another great film soon.
Written and directed by: Nancy Myers
Starring: Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway