The Internship

THE INTERNSHIP. Starring Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, Will Ferrell, John Goodman, Josh Brenner, Dylan O’Bryan, Josh Gad. Directed by Shawn Levy. 119 minutes. Rated M (Coarse language and sexual references).

Surprisingly entertaining and funny.

Star Vince Vaughn thought up this story and co-wrote the screenplay. It has something for everyone, old and young – and some useful messages for both those same old and young.

Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are crack salesman, with humorous pitches, lots of hail-fellow-well-met palaver, and personalized play for customers. The trouble is their watch company has folded and the boss, John Goodman, tells them they are out of a job. Redundant in early middle age! Nick gets a job from his sister’s boyfriend, an amusingly sneering and obtuse Will Ferrell. Billy finds an ad for an internship with Google.

This is definitely a Google film with the logo everywhere of course and lots of promotion. But, it is done quite well – and who doesn’t use Google! The DVD distributors of Flashdance and Jennifer Beal won’t be sorry that Billy often uses the film as his way of urging his young collaborators to take risks – the youngsters have never heard of it and play a joke on the oldies by sending them off to Stanford to meet Professor Charles Xavier. They meet a lookalike with some momentary dire results. Poor middle-aged oldies have never heard of the X-Men!

What seems to loom as a satire on older wariness of computers is not. Billy and Nick certainly make lots of mistakes, even referring to being on-the-line, but they do apply themselves and do learn a lot to find a place in a 21st century IT world.

In fact, there is quite some satire on the young IT nerds/geeks/whatever who are whiz kids on programming, terminology and solving computer problems but whose dedication to sitting and staring at screens is turning them into virtual zombies. Billy and Nick urge them into a real world, though the strip club, drinking and bar brawl is a too long and silly an initiation into macho reality – the sitting and looking at the view of the real San Francisco is ultimately more rewarding.

Billy and Nick are put in a competitive team of leftovers not chosen by the crack teams, including a Japanese-American with a tyrannical mother, a Latina, a couldn’t-care-less white boy, all under the wing of the most earnest nerd. What hope have they? But, despite all appearances to the contrary (and ‘all’ is the operative word), we know that they are going to succeed: a team drawing on all talents.

And, of course, there is quite a nasty self-important young villain (Max Minghella) who compensates for having no people skills by being arrogant to everyone, his team included.

Not to forget a pleasant romance between Nick and Rose Byrne, an ice-maiden IT professional, allowed to keep some of her Australian accent.

This is a good-natured film, surprisingly less crass than might have been expected, with a lot of wit and jokes and Vaughn being difficult but redeemable and Owen Wilson being nice and pleasant.

Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.


Out June 13, 2013.The

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