I’m actually at a loss for words, so I’ll get straight to the point. “The Intern” is one of the most-pleasant surprises of 2015. It features great actors in breezy performances and a story that is thoroughly predictable, yet charming and involving, every step of the way.
Robert De Niro stars as Ben Whitaker, a retired executive and widower who is chosen to join a “senior internship” program at an e-commerce fashion company. Anne Hathaway co-stars as Jules Ostin, the CEO.
Even at the age of 70, Jules is not enthusiastic about Ben working in her outfit — as she fears that he may be too much of a fish out of water to keep up with the modern trends and technology — but eventually, his knowledge of business methods and his likable demeanor and approach to the job eventually win her over.
While Ben is learning the ins and outs of the company, he also provides sage advice to his much-younger co-workers about their love lives and how to dress and conduct themselves on the job. And he even finds time to run virtually every errand in the entire firm. In turn, Jules helps Ben connect to the social network by creating a Facebook page for him.
“The Intern” was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who’s once again well-established in her comfort zone with lighthearted fare with such films as “Something’s Gotta Give,” “The Holiday” and “It’s Complicated.” The way in which she executes this material is quite satisfying. She manages to subvert certain expectations — including a plot element in the romantic department — and give us more than a few moments of physical comedy that genuinely earns its laughs.
This is a movie that makes us laugh and has intelligent and strong characters and well-articulated dialogue. And it manages to do something for me that I haven’t done at the movies in a while: I smiled. A lot.
(Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.