It was all the way back in 2006 when we saw Anne Hathaway play the nervous newbie intimidated by a powerful female boss in The Devil Wears Prada, and back in 2015, the tables were turned as in The Intern, she plays the female boss that everyone is a little bit weary around. We are no strangers to the idea of films about interns coming into a business and having to work their way up from the very bottom, but this is a little bit different. This time, the intern isn’t a timid youngster struggling to find their way in the world, no, this time the intern is 70 year old Ben (Robert De Niro) returning to work after finding dealing with retirement alone difficult.
It looks like Jules Ostin (Hathaway) has everything worked out, a thriving business, a happy family but as she is pushed to bring in a new CEO to take over the online fashion company she created, things start to go wrong for Jules. Enter Ben, the observant, eager to please retiree who becomes a rather big part of his new manager’s life. By starting his new job as her intern, Ben discovers that there is much more to Jules then most people in the office realize and learns that starting something new can lead to great things.
The characters of Jules and Ben are both believable and likable. They are not perfect, and they are not afraid to reveal that. Although unsure of each other at first, they move from being boss and employee to trusted friends and it’s really rather lovely to see. A talented supporting cast creates a realistic work environment, from the got it all together Cameron (Andrew Rannells) to the somewhat bumbling intern Davis (Zack Pearlman). We also meet Jason (played by comedy movie favourite Adam DeVine), personal assistant Becky (Christina Scherer) and Jules’ husband Matt (Anders Holm) and her young daughter Paige (Jojo Kushner).
The plot line may be a little predictable in places, but the characters are likable enough for this not to distract from the enjoyment of the film as a whole. It’s funny to see Ben adapt to working in a modern office where everything is done online and funny to see him become a part of Jules world, to the extent where he will babysit her daughter and help her sort out all of her problems. It takes Jules a while to get used to it all, but once she realises how much she needs the help, the chemistry that grows between her and Ben is lovely.
Funny moments come from the supporting cast, from Davis’ efforts to find a new home, Jason’s attempts to woo Becky and Paige’s ability to hear and repeat everything, even things she’s too young to fully understand. Unlike some other films with 2 hour running times, this one doesn’t feel dragged out with the story flowing nicely throughout. It may be easy to see what is coming sometimes, but let’s be honest, that is becoming more and more common in films these days.