The Intern is the kind of nice, good-hearted movie you can safely take your mother to see. Normally I have no problem with films like this, and I’ve enjoyed some of writer-director Nancy Meyers’ earlier comedies (Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated). This one is just too obvious and superficial for my taste.
Robert De Niro plays a well-heeled widower and former business executive who’s bored with life since his wife passed away. That’s why he responds when a hip Internet retailer in Brooklyn (where else?) sends out flyers seeking “senior interns.” He’s diligent and reliable, but nearly meets his Waterloo when he’s chosen to work as personal assistant to the company’s driven, tightly-focused founder (Anne Hathaway), who doesn’t want to be helped. Needless to say, he soon proves his worth to her in more ways than one.
Like all of Meyers’ movies, The Intern is populated with likable actors and exquisite-looking sets, but in terms of content it’s strictly routine. Even the well-cast costars can’t do much with this material, especially when it turns mushy near the end.
If this serves as comfort food for a sector of the moviegoing audience, so be it; I can’t help wishing for something better. This isn’t even up to Meyers’ usual standard.