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Intern, The


Stars: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Nat Wolff, Linda Lavin, Adam DeVine

Director: Nancy Meyers

It's tough to dislike this feelgood movie but it could have been so much better, so much more of a piece.

Widower Ben (De Niro at his most ingratiating), finding himself with time on his hands at 70, his wife recently deceased, is attracted by an ad for 'senior interns' at an online clothing company run by the dynamic Jules (Hathaway), to whom he's 'attached' to learn the ropes.

Naturally, after getting to grips with the computer, Ben soon makes himself indispensable. The stressed-out Jules, trying to keep the firm progressing and find time for her husband (Holm) and young daughter (JoJo Kushner) as well, changes her mind about having Ben transferred to another section, while Ben himself finds attachment of a more romantic kind with the company's veteran masseuse (Russo).

So far, so good for two-thirds of the way, until the film takes a sidestep into silliness, involving a) Ben leading a burglary to delete an incriminating e-mail on Jules' mother's computer, and b) Jules' husband having an affair and her finding Ben a wise old shoulder to cry on.

Instead of these, the film should have centred on the fashion firm throughout its somewhat overlong runtime.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
122 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 27 Sep 2015