The Intern (2015 film)
The Intern is a 2015 American comedy film directed, written and produced by Nancy Meyers. The film stars Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway and Rene Russo, with supporting performances from Anders Holm, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine and Zack Pearlman. The plot follows a 70-year-old widower who becomes a senior intern at an online fashion website. The film was released on September 25, 2015, by Warner Bros., received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $194 million worldwide.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nancy Meyers|
|Written by||Nancy Meyers|
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Edited by||Robert Leighton|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$194.6 million|
Seventy-year-old widower Ben Whittaker, a retired executive from DEX One, applies to a senior citizen intern program, after retirement has become too boring for him. He applies to About The Fit, a fast-growing e-commerce fashion startup in Brooklyn. Founder and CEO Jules Ostin had previously agreed to a community outreach program where seniors would intern at the firm. Ben impresses everyone and is one of four hired.
Ben is assigned to work with Jules, who is somewhat skeptical at first. Initially frozen out by her, Ben slowly wins over co-workers with his congeniality and gets into Jules's good graces. Ben heads to work one day extra early to organize a messy desk that Jules had complained about previously. After work, Ben notices Jules's chauffeur drinking, convinces the driver to leave and drives Jules home himself, a role he retains in days to come.
Ben eventually reveals that he once worked in the very same building where About The Fit is now based. He develops a romantic relationship with the in-house massage therapist, Fiona, and becomes something of a father figure to several of the younger workers: by offering advice about issues such as love, clothes sense and work/life balance. He provides another with a place to stay at his brownstone after his colleague is evicted by his parents. Ben becomes very committed to Jules, and even breaks into the house of Jules' mother to delete an embarrassingly scathing email, narrowly avoiding getting arrested in the process. Ben also gets to know Jules' family. Her husband, Matt, gave up his own career to be a stay-at-home dad to their daughter, Paige (JoJo Kushner), when About The Fit started to take off. However, their marriage is slowly breaking apart as the couple grows more distant.
Meanwhile, Jules is under pressure to give up her post of CEO to someone outside of the company as her investors feel that she is unable to cope with the workload, having grown About The Fit from a startup founded in her kitchen to a 220-employee juggernaut in only eighteen months. Believing it will give her more time at home with her family, Jules is willing to consider the proposal. When driving Paige home from a party, Ben discovers that Matt is having an affair with another parent at Paige's school. While on a business trip in San Francisco to interview a potential CEO candidate, Jules reveals that she knows about Matt's cheating, but did not confront Matt about it because she was not ready to deal with it.
In an effort to buy herself time to save her marriage, Jules decides to hire a prospective CEO. When Jules goes to Ben's home the next day, Ben greatly encourages Jules to think about how much this will change her authority and how her creativity may be hindered and also reminds her of her passion for her company. Matt unexpectedly drops in at the office and urges her to reconsider, saying that he is sorry, ashamed, and wants to support her in her dreams. Jules goes out looking for Ben, wanting to tell him that she has changed her mind and finds him enjoying his Tai Chi exercise group. She finally lets herself relax and joins him.
- Robert De Niro as Ben Whittaker
- Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin
- Rene Russo as Fiona
- Anders Holm as Matt
- Andrew Rannells as Cameron
- Adam DeVine as Jason
- Zack Pearlman as Davis
- Jason Orley as Lewis
- Christina Scherer as Becky
- JoJo Kushner as Paige
- Nat Wolff as Justin
- Linda Lavin as Patty
- Celia Weston as Doris
- Mary Kay Place as Jules’ mother (voice only)
- Steve Vinovich as Miles
- Molly Bernard as Samantha
Originally set up at Paramount Pictures, The Intern was planned to feature Tina Fey and Michael Caine in the lead roles. Handed over to Warner Bros., Fey was replaced by Reese Witherspoon as the attached star, though Witherspoon left the film on January 15, 2014, due to scheduling conflicts. On February 7, 2014, Anne Hathaway was in final talks to replace Witherspoon in the lead role. Stephen Goldblatt was set as director of photography. On June 23, 2014, Zack Pearlman joined the cast of the film.
The first trailer was released on May 13, 2015, and was later attached to showings of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Pitch Perfect 2, and Paper Towns. On August 3, 2015, another trailer was released.
The Intern grossed $75.7 million in North America and $118.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $194.6 million, against a net production budget of $35 million.
The film opened alongside Hotel Transylvania 2 and was projected to gross $15–20 million in its opening weekend. It grossed $17.7 million, finishing second at the box office behind Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48.5 million).
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 60% based on 174 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Intern doesn't do enough with its timely premise, but benefits from the unorthodox chemistry of its talented leads." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film an "A–", stating, "With some genuinely insightful dialogue, a number of truly funny bits of physical business, and small scenes allowing us to get know and like a half-dozen supporting players, The Intern grows on us from scene to scene, from moment to moment."
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote that the film was similar to Meyers's other works, stating that it was "frothy, playful, homogeneous, routinely maddening and generally pretty irresistible." Despite criticizing Meyers's screenplay and "conflicted ideas about powerful women," Dargis praised the casting of De Niro, stating he "owns the movie from the moment he opens his mouth." Hathaway's role was derided as "less of a character and more of a fast-walking, speed-talking collection of gender grievances."
Director Quentin Tarantino viewed the film as Oscar-worthy, stating “It does seem to be to some degree there’s a boom or bust aspect when it comes to Hollywood when it comes to female directors. There becomes an era when there’s a lot working then that settles down and there’s a dry period—but frankly, maybe I’m just talking shit because the thing is there are female directors. Maybe they’re not being the ones that are being asked to be on The Hollywood Reporter roundtable. One of my favorite movies this last year was Nancy Meyers’ The Intern. They’re not considering that for the Oscars even though I think Robert De Niro gave one of the best performances this year in that movie. I thought the script was actually one of her best. Right up there with It's Complicated. They’re not asking her to be part of the discussion.” Similarly, Clem Bastow, writing for The Guardian, suggested that poor reviews for the film were primarily coming from men, who form the overwhelming majority of film critics.
The film was well-received by audiences, receiving a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, 6.7 on Metacritic, 7.1 on IMDb, and an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale from CinemaScore.
|2016||Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Actor in a Comedy||Robert De Niro||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Anne Hathaway||Nominated|
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