Will the Real Intern Please Stand Up?


Form and content are unified in Nancy Meyers’s Intern. Robert De Niro plays a septuagenarian widower who fills the void in his life by interning at an e-commerce retail firm helmed by Jules (Hathaway), a polite, fastidious-to-a-fault young woman coming apart at the seams as she shatters the proverbial glass ceiling, balancing work and family life. The Intern is mostly a workplace comedy; its import is its commentary on the tectonic generational shifts in workplace culture, from wardrobe to modes of communication. Like its website, Jules’s company has a clean look, although, unlike its multicultural website, all the central characters are white.  And white isn’t the only color worth mentioning. From the shot of verdant sycamores that bookends the film to the key shot of the emerald sweater Jules’s stay-at-home husband (Anders Holm) wears, the color green is deployed throughout. Being green suggests being new, and that’s the path Theodore Shapiro’s music leads us down. But, if you tune out the manipulatively upbeat track, it seems more apt that green represents the color of money. Because, after all, what’s the point of business if not profits? So goes Nancy Meyers’s film: cute, commercial, resolvable. There are, of course, snags along the way, but they’re untangled with the ease of talking to customer service.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White


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