Film Review – The Internship

The Internship (M)

Directed by: Shawn Levy

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne

Three stars

Review by: Julian Wright

I was immediately curious as to whether or not Hollywood BFFs Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson could successfully stretch an episode of TV’s Friends to feature-length with The Internship. Did they think we had forgotten that down on his luck Chandler had opted for a career change, took an internship with an advertising company and had to deal with colleagues half his age? The young enthusiastic intern mistaking the aged Chandler for an executive by offering to make him a coffee, then immediately dismissing him when he discovers the truth is still pointed observations of the office hierarchy.  The age related quips and fish out of water gags were short and sharp in TV land, but could they sustain a two-hour film? While the basics are similar, the comedic duo of Vaughn and Wilson have buffed the scenario up with recession references, saccharine motivational speeches and a gigantic advert for Google.

When their brand of wrist watch becomes obsolete (no one has a watch anymore, they just look at their phone), salesmen Billy (Vince Vaughn) Nick (Owen Wilson) find themselves jobless. Desperate to not be stuck in a menial job for little pay, they sign up for an internship at Google, without any technological skills or knowledge. Easily twice the age of all the other interns, they struggle to fit in, and to contribute to any of the challenges set they must be completed to secure a job. But they eventually discover that there is plenty about life that they can teach these young tech heads and plenty of computer and internet knowledge that they can gain from them.


Some of the jokes are painful – the online/on the line that goes on far too long in particularly horrendous, but this is mostly tolerable. The team of nerdy stereotypes that Billy and Nick team up with is a nice collection of appealing actors, who allow some screen time relief from Vaughn and Wilson. But Australian Rose Byrne is wasted as the love interest Dana, only permitted to offer shocked facial expressions in one of the film’s funniest scenes – her date with Nick.

The ideas and observations on generational gaps are there but director Shawn Levy and screenwriters Vaughn and Jared Stern have no sense of rhythm. Vaughn and Wilson are allowed to riff yet again to their heart’s content, admittedly offering some laugh out loud moments, but then things come to a screeching halt every 10 minutes with a motivational speech. For some reason, they thought it was a good idea for these two to inspire every character that crosses their paths throughout this journey of self discovery and growth. The sentiment is there and admiral, but the delivery is excessive. Just when you get caught up having a laugh, the film comes crashing back down to with another score enhanced lesson. At least Chandler spared his colleagues the lectures.




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