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The Intern is a 2015 American comedy film directed, written and produced by Nancy Meyers. The film stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, with supporting performances from Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine and Zack Pearlman. The film was released on September 25, 2015 by Warner Bros.[1]

Plot

Seventy-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a retired executive from DEX One, applies to a senior citizen intern program after retirement has become too boring for him. The company in Brooklyn he applies to is About the Fit, a fast-growing e-commerce fashion startup, whose founder and CEO Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) had previously agreed to a community outreach program where seniors would intern at the firm. Ben impresses everyone and is one of four hired.

Ben is assigned to work with Jules, who is somewhat skeptical at first. Initially frozen out by her, Ben slowly wins over co-workers with his congeniality and gets into Jules's good graces. Ben heads to work one day extra early to organize the work desks for the entire office. After work, Ben notices Jules's chauffeur drinking, convinces the driver to leave and drives Jules home himself, a role he retains in days to come.

Ben eventually reveals that he once worked in the very same building where About The Fit is now based. He develops a romantic relationship with the in-house massage therapist, Fiona (Rene Russo), and becomes something of a father figure to the younger workers, such as offering one intern advice for what to wear when making a delivery to Beyoncé and Jay-Z and providing another with a place to stay at his house after the other man is evicted by his parents. Ben is very committed to Jules, and even breaks into the house of Jules's mother to delete an embarrassingly scathing email that Jules inadvertently sent her. Ben also gets to know Jules' family. Her husband, Matt (Anders Holm), gave up his own career to be a stay-at-home dad to their daughter, Paige (JoJo Kushner), when About The Fit started to take off. However, their marriage is slowly breaking apart over Jules's long hours, mainly caused by her very hands-on management style.

Meanwhile, Jules is under pressure to give up her post of CEO to someone outside of the company as her investors feel that she is unable to cope with the workload, having grown About The Fit from a startup founded in her kitchen to a 220-employee juggernaut in only eighteen months. Believing it will give her more time at home with her family, Jules is willing to consider the offer. While driving Paige home from a party, Ben discovers that Matt is having an affair with another parent at Paige's school. While on a business trip in San Francisco to interview a potential CEO candidate, Jules reveals that she knows about Matt's cheating as well, but didn't confront Matt about it because she blamed herself for not spending enough time with him.

In an effort to buy herself the time to repair her marriage, Jules decides to hire a prospective CEO. When Jules goes to Ben's home the next day, Ben greatly encourages Jules to think about how much this will change her authority and how her creativity may be tampered with and also reminds her of her passion for her company. Matt unexpectedly drops in at the office and urges her to reconsider, saying that he is willing to make their marriage work. Jules goes out looking for Ben, wanting to tell him that she has changed her mind and finds him enjoying his Tai Chi exercise group. She finally lets herself relax and joins him.

Cast

Production

Originally set up at Paramount Pictures, The Intern was planned to feature Tina Fey and Michael Caine in the lead roles. When a budget could not be settled, Meyers decided to pre-package before going out to other studios and was able to start negotiations for both actors. Handed over to Warner Bros., Fey was replaced by Reese Witherspoon as the attached star, though Witherspoon left the film on January 15, 2014, due to scheduling conflicts.[2] On February 7, 2014, Anne Hathaway was in final talks to replace Witherspoon in the lead role.[3] Stephen Goldblatt was set as director of photography.[4] On June 23, 2014, Zack Pearlman joined the cast of the film.[5]

Filming

Principal photography began on June 23, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York City,[6] where De Niro was spotted on the set of the film.[7] Filming was completed on September 29, 2014.[8]

Marketing

The first trailer was released on May 13, 2015, and was later attached to showings of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Pitch Perfect 2, and Paper Towns.[9] On August 3, 2015, another trailer was released.[10]

Reception

Box office

The Intern grossed $75.7 million in North America and $118.7 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $194.5 million, against a budget of $35 million.[11]

In its opening weekend, the film was projected to earn $15–20 million. It ended up grossing $17.7 million, finishing second at the box office behind fellow newcomer Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48.5 million).[12]

Critical response

The Intern received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 62%, based on 168 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Intern doesn't do enough with its timely premise, but benefits from the unorthodox chemistry of its talented leads."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[14]

Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film an "A–", stating, "With some genuinely insightful dialogue, a number of truly funny bits of physical business, and small scenes allowing us to get know and like a half-dozen supporting players, The Intern grows on us from scene to scene, from moment to moment."[15][16]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote that the film was similar to Meyers's other works, stating that it was "frothy, playful, homogeneous, routinely maddening and generally pretty irresistible." Despite criticizing Meyers's screenplay and "conflicted ideas about powerful women," Dargis praised the casting of De Niro, stating he "owns the movie from the moment he opens his mouth." Hathaway's role was derided as "less of a character and more of a fast-walking, speed-talking collection of gender grievances."[17]

Director Quentin Tarantino viewed the film as Oscar-worthy, stating “It does seem to be to some degree there’s a boom or bust aspect when it comes to Hollywood when it comes to female directors. There becomes an era when there’s a lot working then that settles down and there’s a dry period—but frankly, maybe I’m just talking shit because the thing is there are female directors. Maybe they’re not being the ones that are being asked to be on The Hollywood Reporter roundtable. One of my favorite movies this last year was Nancy Meyers’ The Intern. They’re not considering that for the Oscars even though I think Robert De Niro gave one of the best performances this year in that movie. I thought the script was actually one of her best. Right up there with It's Complicated. They’re not asking her to be part of the discussion.”[18] Similarly, Clem Bastow, writing for The Guardian, suggested that poor reviews for the film were primarily coming from men, who form the overwhelming majority of film critics.[19]

The film was well-received by audiences, receiving a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes,[20] 6.7 on Metacritic,[21] 7.2 on IMDb,[22] and an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale from CinemaScore.[23]

Accolades

Year Award Category Recipients Result
2016 Critics' Choice Movie Awards[24] Best Actor in a Comedy Robert De Niro Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[25] Choice Movie: Comedy Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy Anne Hathaway Nominated

References

  1. "See Ann Arbor's Zack Pearlman with DeNiro, Hathaway in 'The Intern' trailer".. Retrieved on August 9, 2015.
  2. "Reese Witherspoon No Longer Attached to Nancy Meyers’ ‘The Intern’", variety.com (January 15, 2014). Retrieved on June 23, 2014. 
  3. "Anne Hathaway in Talks to Replace Reese Witherspoon in The Intern", hollywoodreporter.com (February 7, 2014). Retrieved on June 23, 2014. 
  4. "Nancy Meyers’ THE INTERN Begins Filming – Stars Anne Hathaway And Robert De Niro", wearemoviegeeks.com (June 23, 2014). Retrieved on June 24, 2014. 
  5. "'Mulaney' Actor Joins Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro in 'The Intern'", hollywoodreporter.com (June 23, 2014). Retrieved on June 25, 2014. 
  6. "First filming location for ‘The Intern’, starring Anne Hathaway & Robert De Niro, in Brooklyn!", onlocationvacations.com (June 16, 2014). Retrieved on June 23, 2014. 
  7. "Photos of Robert De Niro filming ‘The Intern’ in Brooklyn", onlocationvacations.com (June 24, 2014). Retrieved on June 26, 2014. 
  8. Jenn McKee (September 30, 2014). "Pioneer High grad Zack Pearlman wraps up filming on 'The Intern,' and his TV show 'Mulaney' is set for October 5 premiere". mlive.com. Retrieved on April 24, 2016.
  9. "The Intern - Official Trailer [HD]". (May 13, 2015). Retrieved on August 9, 2015.
  10. "The Intern TRAILER 2 (HD) Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro Movie 2015". (August 3, 2015). Retrieved on August 9, 2015.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named BOM
  12. Anthony D'Alessandro (September 24, 2015). "‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ Set To Deliver New September Opening Record & Adam Sandler’s Second Best Debut".. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved on September 26, 2015.
  13. "The Intern". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on April 20, 2016.
  14. "The Intern reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved on September 28, 2015.
  15. Richard Roeper (September 24, 2015). "‘The Intern’: Director, stars bring right skill set to office comedy". chicago.suntimes.com. Retrieved on September 25, 2015.
  16. Richard Roeper (September 25, 2015). "The Intern Movie Review". richardroeper.com. Retrieved on September 26, 2015.
  17. Manohla Dargis (September 24, 2015). "Review: In ‘The Intern,’ She’s the Boss, but He’s the Star".. Retrieved on December 15, 2015.
  18. Jack Giroux (January 25, 2016). "Quentin Tarantino Raves About ‘The Intern,’ Talks Hollywood Diversity".. Retrieved on April 21, 2016.
  19. Clem Bastow (September 30, 2015). "The Intern has been panned by film critics. Why am I not surprised?".. Retrieved on December 15, 2015.
  20. "Audience Reviews for The Intern". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on April 21, 2016.
  21. "The Intern User Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved on April 21, 2016.
  22. "The Intern (2015)". IMDb. Retrieved on April 24, 2016.
  23. Anthony D'Alessandro (September 25, 2015). "‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ Set To Deliver New September Opening Record & Adam Sandler’s Second Best Debut".. Retrieved on September 26, 2015.
  24. "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV", Deadline.com (December 14, 2015). Retrieved on December 14, 2015. 
  25. Vulpo, Mike (May 24, 2016). Teen Choice Awards 2016 Nominations Announced: See the "First Wave" of Potential Winners. E!. Retrieved on May 25, 2016.


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