Wedding Crashers stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn reunite for this light comedy that favours a commercial message over remotely organic storytelling. Wilson and Vaughn play middle-aged job seekers who decide to apply for Google's summer internship programme in the hopes of landing a job. Accepted into the scheme against all odds, the pair struggle to compete with the younger, hungrier college-age applicants while coming to grips with Google's superlatively amiable working conditions. Product placement has always been part of studio filmmaking, but the last decade or so has seen the phenomenon become more visible than ever.
The Internship feels like the culmination of this boom - the whole thing plays like a feature-length ad for Google. Vaughn (who co-wrote the script with, I presume, marketing department) and Wilson both have considerable comedic goodwill, and their natural charisma isn't absent from this movie. But neither is a subtle-as-a-sledge hammer pro-Google message. The film would have us believe that not only is Google the best place in the world to work (they have a slide! Inside!), but also the answer to pretty much all the world's problems.
The structure of the story allows for all of Google's main products and services to get a few moments of screen time, and one of the major comedic set-pieces centres around Vaughn exploiting Google's free food policy. Most shamelessly, the finale incorporates an uplifting speech about how Google is uniting our communities. I'm particularly partial to Vaughn's comedy persona - this has more actual laughs than Couples Retreat and The Dilemma combined - but the commercial message plays too central a role.
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne
Directors: Shawn Levy
Running time: 119 mins
The Internship is out now.
The Other Son is out now.