Film Review: The Internship

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The Internship is a safe and stereotypical comedy that’s best moments are when it actually breaks away from that formula; not that it really matters.

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star as a couple down on their luck salesmen who decide to apply for an internship at Google when their current employer folds out of existence. They’re outcasts of the program, of course, but their team leader sees something in them and they are given a chance to succeed; not before they are thrown together with a rag tag group of other outcasts of the program. We have the cute and social Indian girl, a good looking nerd who looks at his phone a lot and a brilliant Asian computer scientist; why are these people outcasts again? Don’t worry, a strict boss and a douchey antagonist will keep re-enforcing how out of place and undeserving their group is.

While a watchable film, it does absolutely nothing you haven’t seen before; outside having a Muggle Quidditch game act as one of the film’s major set pieces. The thing that holds back the film beyond the stereotypical nature of it is that it just doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be. Workplace comedy, romantic comedy, losers coming out on top in the end, it has a lot it is trying to do, but it never really excels at any of them. The film even has a profound moment where the younger characters lament on the death of the American dream, but then doesn’t address it ever again. I’m sure a greater film will appropriately address the topic, but I‘m feel like I have to give the film for at least throwing that out there. It tries to touch on too many comedic tropes and instead of excelling at any of them it fails at most all of them.

There is one extended sequence when the group takes a night out on the town that actually works quite well and has some sincere character moments, but it’s too little too late as the whole film could have greatly improved upon more relationship building like this. This might have been better achieved if they dropped the worthless antagonist role played by Max Minghella who mostly disappears from the film half way through and never feels like a real threat in the first place. The actors in the film are all good, their characters just have nothing to do and are never really given a chance to authentically grow. Instead of one night out on the town changing all of their lives, why didn’t they let them organicly grow?

For fans of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn this is no Wedding Crashers, not by a long shot, but if you like these guys sense of comedy I’m sure you will be able to enjoy the picture. The film tries to be so safe and familiar and it certainly succeeds at doing that. A couple laughs here and there, likable characters throughout and a plot that doesn’t push the audience in the slightest will surely go down smoothly with those that seeks out The Internship this weekend; that doesn’t make it a good film.

The Internship is a D+

P.S. A lot of people are losing their shit about the film being a giant commercial for Google, and maybe it is, but while it is egregious product placement it actually works in the context of the film. It didn’t bother me much.

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