Working it out

The Intern: Experience the difference

Riley Riley

It’s the odd couple all over again.

Jules Ostin is a driven woman, the successful CEO of a new start up that now employs more than 200 people.

Ben Whittaker is a 70-year-old widower, retired and bored.

The two cross paths in the 2015 film The Intern, a combination of drama and comedy.

When Ben spots an advert for a position as ‘senior’ intern at Jules’ rapidly-growing, e-commerce, clothing outlet About The Fit, he decides to give it shot. After all, what’s he got to lose.

The usual retirement activities are not enough for him and he’s being hounded by a woman with whom he had one date.

Impressed by his application video and interview, Ben surprisingly gets the job.

He’s one of four people hired and is assigned to Jules as her personal assistant.

All good so far, except that the intern program was not her idea and Jules doesn’t want a bar of it.

She reveals that Ben makes her feel uncomfortable and that he is a little too observant for her liking, and wants him transferred to another department.

But the quietly spoken Ben is a force to be reckoned with.

Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, The Intern stars Robert De Niro as Ben and Anne Hathaway as Jules, with support from Rene Russo, Anders HolmAndrew RannellsAdam DeVine, and Zack Pearlman

Myers has has written, produced, and directed a long list of successful films.

They include Private Benjamin (1980), Father of the Bride (1991), What Women Want (2000) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003).

She had to knock on plenty of doors before she could get a taker for Private Benjamin which was a big hit for Goldie Hawn.

Meyers is now in high demand and spends a lot of time shooting films in the search for the certain something that she is looking for.

It must work because the studios leave her pretty much alone to get on with the job, confident it will be worth it.

In The Intern, it turns out Ben, an unassuming, one-time executive once worked in the very building now occupied by About The Fit.

He quickly proves himself an asset to company, winning over Jules and his fellow interns to whom he becomes something of a father figure.

He’s soon driving Jules to and from work, offering advice when it is sought and becomes part of her family, taking her young daughter to a birthday party.

Ben is back and along the way he even picks up a new girlfriend, Fiona, the in-house massage therapist from work played by Russo.

Life is good, too good it seems as Jules comes under increasing pressure to step down as CEO.

Her investors feel the job has become too much for her and want her to hire a someone from outside the company to free her up.

She is spending too much time at work and sleeping fitfully, and it is beginning to take its toll on her marriage.

Stay-at-home husband, Matt, has given up a promising career to look after their daughter Paige (JoJo Kushner), so Jules is free to concentrate on her work.

Jules is torn between the love for her husband and the love for the business she has created.

While driving Paige home from a birthday party, Ben spies Matt in the embrace of another woman, one of the other parents from Paige’s school.

He in turn is torn about whether to reveal his discovery to Jules, but as it turns out she already knows.

The Intern is one of those old fashioned kind of films that just hit the spot.

No one dies, there’s no violence and more chuckles than laughs, but it will have you chuckling and reaching for a hanky in equal measures.

De Niro, the consummate performer, cruises through the role, delivering an understated performance, while Hathaway is, well, the adorable girl next door who makes it big. 

Interestingly, Ben’s old company Dex One was a real print company which actually survived into the digital age, but in 2016 was absorbed by another company.

You can catch The Intern On Netflix, Binge, Prime and Paramount+ 


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Final thoughts . . .

Good old-fashioned entertainment


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