Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Brener, Rose Byrne
With my own disappointment in comedies from earlier this year, including The Hangover Part III, I was looking forward to what The Internship was going to bring to the table. I wasn’t expecting much…actually, I wasn’t expecting really anything at all. Wilson and Vaughn are just alright to me, but have never been my absolute favorite comedic actors. Surprisingly though, and this may be due to my lack of expectations, this movie had me laughing more than I laughed in any other comedy I’ve seen this year, despite it’s predictable moments with the plot and the cheesy conventions that come with a feel good comedy such as this one.
Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are looking for something new, having lost their old jobs as a result of the technological age that we live in. It’s assurance of job security makes Billy look into the Google internship program and eventually gets him and Nick and interview. Despite their obvious older age than the other interns and being not so technologically savvy, they score a spot in the program, mainly to add diversity to the regular Google crowd. Packed with plenty of Flashdance references and a huge spotlight on the inner workings of Google, The Internship works to bring together Vaughn and Wilson’s old dog ways to the hipster-esque, technology obsessed culture of the young Google interns.
First off, as I said, the plot isn’t the most original thing you’ve seen in a comedy. It’s the same old “underdogs reaching for their dreams” story line we have all seen before. However, the aspect of this film revolving around Google is a fun and interesting take on this old idea. Google did indeed work with the filmmakers to try to portray the atmosphere of actually working there (And, no, no money was exchanged between them) and this was fun to see in the movie. We all know where the story is going, with Billy trying to fight his inner problems of always letting people down (this is pretty much spelled out to us), Nick trying to get a girl that nobody really cares about (an unnecessary side story to me), all while trying to rise up to the challenge of showing up the snobby British kid who thinks he is better than everyone else and impressing the straitlaced boss. Wilson and Vaughn are pretty much type cast as their usual characters, there are no surprises there, and yes, most characters fall into some sort of stereotype…but oddly, it all seems to work together.
In a comedy, I can ignore a generic story and some corny moments if the humor is there, and it is for the most part. I feel like they had some good material to work with here, with the interactions between Vaughn and Wilson with the interns being the majority of the source of the humor. The characters, as stereotypical as they might be, are actually really funny. Including the Asian whose has a fear of failure related to being home schooled by his mother his whole life, the nerdy but funny guy trying to get a girl, and the recluse who is connected to his phone but not to reality. They are all charming enough and serve their purpose to have some funny moments.
Both of the leading men, though not at their best, do a good job here. Like I said, there aren’t any surprises with their characters. They rely on their same old characteristics to provide humor, but they know that it works most of the time so it’s comfortable to them. It’s fun to see their chemistry with the rest of the cast, with most of the focus on that one group of interns. I feel like the protagonist, played by Max Minghella, didn’t make enough of a presence though, and neither did the boss, played by Mandvi. Instead, the film seemed to focus just a little much on the inner conflict with Billy. It doesn’t make the film really any less enjoyable though, and I walked away with a smile on my face just the same.
It won’t be the comedy of the year (hopefully), but it still impressed me more than really any other comedy released in 2013 as of yet. It wasn’t incredibly original and although we all know these two men would never survive a day at Google, The Internship did it’s job to entertain off of a pretty intriguing idea. Despite allegations that this is just a two hour long commercial for Google, it was really just fun to see. I mean, you could argue that any movie is advertising something based on what the story revolves around. Would you argue that The Social Network worked to advertise Facebook? Not really. Anyways, The Internship was funny, which is all I would ask for from this movie, and definitely worth a watch if you’ve liked Wilson and Vaughn’s work in the past.