Filmmaker Nancy Meyers has produced a catalogue of lighthearted, fun films, with mature actors and made for mature audiences; think Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated.

The Intern has a broader appeal with a cross-generation story staring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, but it retains Meyer's warm tone, upper-middle setting and dedication to immaculately decorated homes.

The Intern begins with promise. A cute setup sees 70-year-old Ben (De Niro) apply for a senior internship at a successful online fashion retail company, run by extremely busy micro-manager Jules Ostin (Hathaway).

Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin in a scene from the comedy, The Intern.
Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin in a scene from the comedy, The Intern.

Ben's a company guy who has found the combination of retirement and being widowed boring, and relishes this opportunity to get back into the working world, even if it's an unfamiliar one.

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An incredibly likeable gentleman, Ben quickly becomes known by everyone around the office as the convivial uncle, except by the woman he's working directly for, Jules. Though there are plenty of gags about the elderly and technology, and sex and fashion, the overall attitude to Ben is one of politically correct respect, unlike Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's experience in The Internship.

At first, Jules is unnerved by Ben and how observant he is, but as Ben gets to know her, house-husband Matt (Anders Holm) and sickeningly cute daughter Paige (JoJo Kushner) they bond and become friends who learn a lot from each other.

It's at about this point The Intern fades, drifting slowly towards its two-hour duration. The narrative is driven by what's going on in Jules' life - struggling with work-life balance, faltering relationships with her mother and husband, and investors wanting to bring in a big-time CEO to help run her growing company.

Robert de Niro stars in the movie The Intern.
Robert de Niro stars in the movie The Intern.

The problem is that this has little to do with Ben; he's just the supportive guiding hand, and without any conflict or competition between the two leads, it all becomes quite bland.

There are a few surprises thrown in, and a couple of laughs - especially when De Niro leads a team breaking into Jules' mother's house to delete a nasty email she accidently sent - but the success of this film rests on Hathaway and De Niro.

A scene from the movie The Intern.
A scene from the movie The Intern.

Thankfully, they're charming together and make up for an inconclusive ending that leaves their characters pretty much where they started off.

Cast:

Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro, Rene Russo

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Director:

Nancy Meyers

Running Time:

121 mins

Rating:

M (Offensive Language)

Verdict:

A pleasant, well-acted but largely forgettable dramedy