The idea of older guys getting internships is now the pitch for two mainstream comedies, this one following 2013’s The Internship, and it should be very relevant subject matter addressing today’s economic and corporate landscape. The Intern, which stars Robert De Niro as a 70-year-old man who goes to work (unpaid?) at a fashion website run by Anne Hathaway, would make more sense if De Niro’s character was laid off from his job of many decades and had to take a desperate measure to get a new gig. Instead, he’s retired and apparently just misses working. The lack of desperation makes for a much lighter story.
Not that I should expect a heavy social issue film or even a comedy aimed more at serious timely themes than boner jokes from today’s Hollywood, but there was a time when The Intern writer/director Nancy Meyers had her finger on important social changes in America, particularly regarding the advancement of women in the workplace and military, back in her day of just being a screenwriter. It was still a relatively light touch with that finger rather than a big push, but even with Irreconcilable Differences she offered up something identifiably current (I appreciated this as a young child of divorce during that ’80s peak time).
Now she’s just appreciated for the interior design of the apartments her wealthy white characters live in.
But at the same time, I watch the trailer for The Intern and want to imagine this is somehow a twist on Meyers’ Baby Boom script where now the career woman has been stuck with an old guy who needs love and care (and who will give some needed love and care back to her) instead of an orphaned infant. Maybe Hathway’s fashion site CEO winds up being forced out, so she moves to the country and starts a company specializing in something involving elder care. Then she legally adopts De Niro as her child. I mean hires him full-time.
The Intern opens on September 25th.