Monday, August 01, 2016
The Intern (2015 film)
Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, The Intern is the story of a 70-year old man who decides to intern at a fashion start-up company where he brings guidance to its young CEO. The film is a tale of an old man trying to find some usefulness in his life while helping a young woman find balance in her life as a CEO and as a wife/mother. Starring Robert de Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, Christina Scherer, and Zack Pearlman. The Intern is a delightful and heartfelt film from Nancy Meyers.
The film is a simple story about a 70-year old widower who has given up retirement as he decides to become an intern for a e-commerce start-up fashion company that is run by a young woman who is trying to balance her life as a working woman and as a wife/mother. While she is reluctant to hire this old man to be her personal intern, she eventually warms up to his service as well as getting some guidance in what she needs in her life. It’s a film that is very simple as writer/director Nancy Meyers creates a story where the old help guides the young while the young gives the old something to do in his life. The script isn’t just about that meeting of old and new but also in how they can coexist where Ben Whittaker (Robert de Niro) becomes a source of inspiration and drive to many of the young workers including the CEO Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway).
Even as he would drive her to work and such as well get to know her family while becoming someone who guide her about what to do as she is considering taking in a CEO to help run the company that she built so she can spend more time with her family. The subplot that revolves around Jules considering taking in the CEO plays into her struggle to be with her family while she isn’t sure about taking orders from someone who might change everything she’s worked so hard to build. It plays into Jules turning to Ben for guidance while Ben is someone that knows his role but also give other younger interns the chance to express themselves more where they help him deal with the new world he is in. At the same time, he meets a middle-aged masseuse in Fiona (Rene Russo) as they share similarities in not just aging but also proving that they still have something to live for.
Meyers’ direction is quite simple where she doesn’t really go for any stylish visual traits as it’s really more about the world of the start-up fashion company where everyone is working on a computer or a laptop taking orders and such. Shot largely in the Brooklyn area in New York City with a few shots around San Francisco, the film does play into this idea of a new version of New York City that is for the young yet its older residents of the city still have a place in. Many of the compositions are simple with some wide shots of the cities but Meyers largely relies on medium shots and close-ups to maintain an intimacy as well as capture some of the chaos of the work place. Some of the humor in the film is lighthearted as it’s not forced as it’s more careful in its timing but also find a way to be loose and fun. There is an air of sentimentality as it relates to Ben and his friendship with Jules where it’s about him trying to be useful and live his life while helping her find the balance of being all things as she deals with issues in her own family life. Overall, Meyers creates witty and enchanting film about a 70-year old man interning for a young woman’s start-up fashion company.
Cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt does excellent work with the film‘s cinematography as it‘s largely straightforward in terms of the interior/exterior lighting schemes as well as the look for some of the scenes set at night. Editor Robert Leighton does nice work with the editing as it is straightforward with a few jump-cuts for stylistic reasons as well as a montage scene of Ben getting ready for work. Production Krist Zea, with art directors W. Steven Graham and Doug Huszti and set decorator Susan Bode, does fantastic work with the look of the place where everyone works at as well as the homes of Jules as well as Ben‘s home that includes his lavish closet. Costume designer Jacqueline Demeterio does brilliant work with the costumes from the clothes that Jules is selling as well as her own style of clothing to the suits that Ben wears to work that would inspire the younger interns.
Visual effects supervisors Bruce Jones, Mark Russell, and Hameed Shaukat do terrific work with some of the film‘s minimal visual effects as it‘s mainly bits of set dressing for some of the film‘s exterior scenes and some of the text that is displayed on phones and such. Sound editors Dennis Drummond and Sean Massey do superb work with the sound from the way many of the phones and computers sound in work as well as the sense of chaos that goes on in the job. The film’s music by Theodore Shapiro creates a wonderful score that is a mixture of jazz, orchestral, and pop that play into the vibrancy of the work place while music supervisors George Drakoulias and Randall Poster create a mixture of contemporary pop from Meghan Trainor, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, and Tegan and Sara to more old-school music from Ray Charles, KC & the Sunshine Band, Billie Holliday, Astrud Gilberto, Gene Kelly, and Benny Goodman.
The casting by Tiffany Little Canfield, Laray Mayfield, Bernard Telsey, and David Vaccari is great as it feature some notable small roles from Mary Kay Place as the voice of Jules’ mother, Linda Lavin as a friend of Ben who often tries to flirt with him, Celia Weston as another senior intern who would briefly replace Ben as Jules’ driver, Nat Wolff as one of Ben’s interviewers, and JoJo Kushner in a wonderful role as Jules’ daughter Paige. Josh Orley is terrific as Lewis as an intern who is fascinated by Ben’s old briefcase as he would help him out while Christina Scherer is amazing as Jules’ secretary Becky who feels like she doesn’t get enough credit for her contributions. Zack Pearlman is fantastic as Davis as a new intern who befriends Ben as he seeks his help in finding a home while Adam DeVine is hilarious as Jason as a veteran intern that is trying to go out with Becky as well as help the guys in any of the situations that happen. Andrew Rannells is excellent as Jules’ fellow executive Cameron who would start the seniors intern program as well as try to give Jules his views on hiring a CEO to help run things with Jules.
Anders Holm is superb as Jules’ husband Matt as a stay-at-home dad who befriends Ben as he tries to maintain his role at home but would do something that would cause trouble for Jules in their family life. Rene Russo is brilliant as Fiona as a middle-aged masseuse that Ben falls for as she finds him to be a charming and mature man that she can hang out with. Anne Hathaway is remarkable as Jules Ostin as a woman who has created her own company as she is trying to balance her work but also her family life where Hathaway brings that sense of obsessive-compulsiveness but also the desire to be a mother as it’s one of her finer performances. Finally, there’s Robert de Niro in a phenomenal performance as Ben Whittaker as a 70-year old widower who gives up retirement to do something with his life and feel useful where it’s de Niro filled with charm and a bit of low-key humor but also have this sense of fatherly warmth with the young actors while having some amazing rapport with Hathaway that is the heart of the film.
The Intern is a marvelous film from Nancy Meyers that features top-notch performances from Robert de Niro and Anne Hathaway. It’s a film that doesn’t take itself seriously as well as be good old-fashioned light-entertainment with a sense of wit and characters that audiences of all ages can care for. In the end, The Intern is an excellent film from Nancy Meyers.
Nancy Meyers Films: (The Parent Trap (1998 film)) - (What Women Want) - (Something’s Gotta Give) - (The Holiday (2006 film)) - (It’s Complicated)
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