The Intern is one of those sweet, manipulative movies that you just go with because it holds just enough honesty to keep you wishing it was real. That success of that balancing act is due almost entirely to Robert De Niro (American Hustle) and Anne Hathaway (Interstellar), whose naturalistic presence on screen is endearing.
Writer/director Meyers (It’s Complicated) can add this bit of fluff to her ever growing list of successes. And I mean that in the nicest way: fluff is hard. She is more successful at the directing in this round than the script; there are many issues in structure and details with the premise and characters. Despite that, Meyer’s navigates the gaps and gaffs with a magician’s ease. As long as you don’t look too closely, it can take you someplace you didn’t expect.
An example of one of the weaker and cheaper aspects of the script is her triumvirate of younger clowns for De Niro to work with. Adam DeVine (The Final Girls), Zack Pearlman (The Virginity Hit), and Jason Orley, in his first credited acting role, are funny and provide moments of revelation, but they are barely believable as written. It is also worth noting that in a couple of smaller roles, Linda Lavin (Sean Saves the World) and Nat Wolff (Behaving Badly) get to have a bit of fun and add some comic relief. None of this ruins the film, but it keeps it from being entirely “real.”
Honestly, this is fun and worth an evening. It has some nice and biting insights into society (young and old) as well as story intended to go for your heart. Without Meyers’ subtle hand, it would have devolved into a trite Hallmark moment. As it is, there is a bit more meat on the bones and a few wonderful moments of release.