Friday, June 14, 2013
The Internship (2013)
**This review contains spoilers**
Down on their luck and jobless, two watch salesmen take one last shot with an internship program/competition at Google. Nick (Owen Wilson) and Billy (Vince Vaughn) are forced to take a chance after their boss, Sammy (John Goodman) closes the company, cashes out, and moves to Florida. Fed up with being a mattress salesman, Nick is persuaded by Billy to go to Google headquarters, and quit his new job.
Nick and Billy team up with a group of young rejects (or “leftovers”) led by Lyle (Josh Brener). During and after the first challenge, Nick and Billy are ignored and resisted by team members Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael), and Neha (Tiya Sircar). Plus, Billy and Nick must overcome the stigma of two old-timers wanting a free ride from the Google project manager, Mr. Chetty (Aasif Mandvi).
Eventually, the group comes together under Nick and Billy’s guidance and leadership, as they use their experiences to teach life lessons, helping each insecure team member break out of their shells along the way. But a few distractions could ruin Nick and Billy’s chances for landing a job. Nick is obsessed with Dana (Rose Byrne), a Google executive, and Billy has to deal with the bullying from the rival team leader, Graham (Max Minghella).
As expected, there’s some good chemistry between Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, and their chemistry is the driving force behind The Internship. Max Minghella has his moments as the jerk/snob, who will do anything to get under the skin of someone, who’s beneath him. Rose Byrne is just eye candy for the most part, and her character is kind of dull. There’s a cameo from Will Ferrell (he’s Nick’s boss at the mattress store, and he’s married to Nick’s sister) that didn’t do anything for me, and I was hoping for more John Goodman. No complaints from the cast of kids, who portrayed Nick and Billy’s team members. No one really stood out as their own version of a quirky and nerdy outcast. Well, Tobit Raphael comes close.
The Internship is predictable as predictable can be. You just knew the unlikely team of underdogs would find a way to triumph and defeat Graham’s team somehow. You knew Nick would eventually capture Dana’s heart, and he did. And you knew Billy, the screw-up, would find his courage to give it another shot after a pep talk from his best friend.
Still, with all that said, I really enjoyed The Internship. Honestly, I thought I would hate this, and I went into this film with very low expectations, but I was wrong. Some will just see a formulaic Hollywood comedy disguised as an overlong ad for all things Google. But I laughed myself into tears a few times, and for the most part, predictability is a problem here, but The Internship throws a few curveballs and surprises at you during the finale.
The Internship is harmless fun, with a handful of good laughs along the way (the fiasco at the strip club is hilarious). Glad I took a chance on this, and hopefully Vaughn and Wilson will team up again in the future.