Tue 29 Sep 2015
Should I feel guilty? I really enjoyed this melodramatic, stereotype-rich, rose-water sprinkled feel-good movie which is ‘The Intern‘, directed by Nancy Meyers, and bringing to screen the improbable pair of actors composed of Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. Now I need to find out why.
One of the reasons is probably the fact that the start-up and corporate environments are pretty familiar to me, and that their screen version as conceived by Meyers is not far from what I know. Yes, I have met the ambitious CEO working herself (or himself) to death at the expense of her (or his) family life, sleeping time and own health and reason. I worked and still work in ‘open space’ and ‘glass-walled’ environments. I lived through ‘the sale of the day’ and ‘the hero of the month’ and I understand what a good day and a bad day looks like in the shop that some believe it became their real home.
Then, I am a feminist. I sincerely believe that women can be as good managers and leaders as men, and that they deserve all the credit when they succeed in the machoistic society we live in, and even more when they do it while keeping a family and raising kids who still recognize their mothers. For feminists this film carries the ‘right’ message.
Third (or maybe first) I am close to retirement. Not 70 yet, as De Niro’s character is, not wearing suits and ties (actually I know a lot of 70-ers who never do), but yet, I can understand his panic when faced with aging, his loneliness and desire to socialize, his volunteering in order to continue to be useful and relevant.
The story of the ‘retired intern’ who becomes the best friend of the carrier-obsessed CEO by balancing the over-dynamic corporate environment with some old-fashioned common sense, the crisis of the millionaire teenagers with true sensitivity may have been told a few times. Yet it looks true on screen, or better said true enough to spontaneously generate the laughs and the tears rather than squeeze them. The actor who played all those tough gangsters in the first two thirds of his fabulous career has become the most generous and kind retired and his chemistry with flamboyant Anne Hathaway is perfect. Rene Russo is just the best known of a fun support cast. ‘The Intern’ will be criticized by many but if you are a fan of feel-good movies, or you just are in the mood of seeing one you would certainly like to watch it.