Two hours of warm and gooey. And we're not talking about the theatre's selection of brownies. After an overdose of movies that are either leaning too far to the chick flick side or veering dangerously past the toilet humour mark, Nancy Meyers' The Intern really hits the spot.
Sure, it's not one of those stories that'll make it a shoo in for an Academy Award nomination. Far from it. Then again, it made enough sense to get Robert De Niro and Anna Hathaway, who have an Oscar cabinet anyway, to give it their all - so rest assured, this will not be a waste of two and half hours of your weekend. Parking time included.
Ben Whittaker (the impeccably funny De Niro) is a 70-year-old retiree who worked for a firm that made phone books all his life. Looking for purpose again, Ben gets out his suits and applies for a Senior Internship programme at the tremendously booming AboutTheFit.com - founded by the super driven and perennially overworked Jules Orton (Hathaway). Though intended as a PR exercise, Ben gets assigned to Jules and boy does he have an effect on her life.
There are times when you're almost waiting for the toilet humour to kick in. Because the opportunities are aplenty. But that's where Nancy Meyers keeps it delightfully old school. All the jokes - even the inevitable old people ones - are tasteful and the kind where you don't have to squirm about if your kids are next to you. Or your mom, even. This is as Sweet Home Alabama as a not-quite romantic comedy is going to get in 2015.
It's tough to imagine anyone else playing the role of a 70 something intern with so much swag. Old school swag. You can't even point at De Niro and say 'look that's exactly what he did in the Focker films'. From bonding with Jules' daughter and giving her business advice on how to run an ex commerce startup to helping her tide through her husband having an affair, De Niro is the calming influence that she's always needed, helping her figure out exactly which decisions to make.
Anne Hathaway is chirpy, driven and confused - but she's not the Devil Wears Prada kind of boss. She's the cool boss, so there aren't any evil to good transformation trips here engineered by Ben. All he does is stick around and help her get a handle on life. De Niro's poise and polished humour is matched perfectly by Hathaway's trademark goofy on-screen persona.
In fact, if you were to ask what the singular sellling point of this particularly long movie is, this would be my answer - This movie doesn't try to inspire you with a tale of radical change of any sort. It's just a good old, heartwarming journey of two completely different people from point A to point B with a lot of good laughs thrown in. Need we say more?