‘The Intern’ Strikes Heartwarming Balance, Starring Hathaway and De Niro

Photo courtesy of Shankbone, Wikipedia

Highly successful Hollywood director Nancy Meyers has a new movie that just hit theaters, “The Intern.” “The Intern” is about a highly successful woman in her 30s and her companionship with an energetic, widowed retiree. Throughout the movie, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) learns to open up to her trusted friend as he helps untwist her life. Meanwhile, Ben Whitaker (Robert De Niro) learns about the “newer” generation and receives another chance to work, this time with a younger crowd.

Unlike the roles many actors around his age take on, De Niro plays the role of an active, widowed retiree who answers the ad for a senior intern program at a fast growing e-commerce fashion company founded and run by Jules. He looks for something meaningful to fill up his time, since it has been two years since his wife Molly passed away. Ben’s opening narration and his application process stirred emotions.

“The Intern” is not a typical comedy movie. It is a humorous healing movie. Although Jules is at first disinterested and negative about her company’s senior outreach intern program and neglects to open up to Ben, the two do not find themselves at odds. Ben disregards Jules’ ignorance toward him and happily finds his way through the company.

Soon after, he fills in as Jules’ driver and even becomes her mentor and confidante as she undergoes more stress and pressure from her investors to hire a “more experienced CEO” to run the company she founded.

Meyers is wise to make sure the relationship between the characters remains friendly and the two sincerely come to like each other. Jules comes to admire and respect Ben’s old-fashioned work principles and positive approach to life, while Ben admires Jules for her tough drive and business savvy.

Despite starring in a number of spinoffs of the “Meet the Parents” series, De Niro does not seem, at first, to fit into the aesthetic of movies like that of Meyers’ new film. Meyers brings to light De Niro’s often-underrated facility for expressing warmth to an audience.

Meyers’ perfect balance between humor and emotion creates the perfect healing movie that has just the right amount of laughter, silent concentration and tears. Her nonromantic, realistic and minimal-conflict story presents the true lives of two dynamic characters.