"The Intern" warms hearts with charming friendship


Hannah Simon

Photo courtesy of Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros. Pictures

Isn’t it every girl’s dream to have it all: the dream job, a devoted husband, an adorable kid, and a brownstone in Brooklyn? To the naked eye, Jules (Anne Hathaway), Founder and CEO of fictional e-commerce fashion startup About The Fit, does have it all. She makes good money, her startup is booming, her husband took the role of stay-at-home dad and she has an adorable daughter.
However, if one were to look a little deeper, one would see that Jules’s company is falling out of her grasp, her life at home is not perfect, and she is looked down upon by moms from her daughter’s school for working hard and running a successful company.
This is where Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) comes in. Ben is a 70-year old widower who recently discovered that retirement does not suit him. He likes to stay on his feet and keep himself busy, so he filled his early retirement days with travel and outdoor yoga lessons in a park until those activities no longer satisfied him. As if by fate, Ben saw a “Senior Interns Wanted” poster for About The Fit. Ben being the go-getter he is, decides to apply, winning over the hearts of his many interviewers, and finally landing a position as an intern for About The Fit.
As Ben proves himself more than capable as a quick learner and an eager helper, he also becomes closer with Jules. Thus forming an unexpected relationship considering Jules’s original reluctance to have Ben as her intern, or even any senior interns at all, for that matter.
Over the span of the movie, Ben and Jules’s relationship grows, leading Ben to take on a position not only as Jules’s intern, but as her best friend as well. Jules welcomes Ben into her family, leading him to develop a close relationship with Jules’s daughter, Paige (JoJo Kushner), and even to become friends with Matt (Anders Holm), Jules’s husband. Ben has helped solve the virtually unattainable myth, in order to have it all; you must “get by with a little help from [your] friends,” as the ever-great John Lennon once said. “I really liked when Ben and Jules had really nice, down to earth, not work related conversations,” said senior Nadia Racaniello. The relationship that the two formed with one another definitely raised envy, leading many to want to become Robert De Niro’s new best friend.
The film was a wonderful catharsis for the everyday stresses of the school year. There was obvious humor, seeing as how a 70-year-old man was interning for a woman in her 30s, but there was also a lot of emotion as Jules had to try and navigate her life to a place where she could be happy. Anne Hathaway’s depiction of Jules was very raw and instills hope for all of our childhood dreams to come true. “She was a very successful and strong woman. It’s very refreshing to see a woman playing the boss of a company and not have other characters in the movie call her anything really horrible and negative…the scenes where she was very emotional and she broke down made her very realistic,” said Racaniello.
Robert De Niro’s part in the film was flawless. He, along with his fellow interns, provided the comedy of the film, giving the audience a stream of nonstop laughter. While Ben was hilarious, he was also caring. Ben watched out for Jules when everyone else believed that she had everything under control; he saw what nobody else could.
The movie was truly two hours well spent, and though there were no real edge-of-the-seat moments, the audience remains entertained and content.