t h e i n t e r n s h i p
3rd July 2013
Vince and Owen
I have to admit to approaching The Internship with a certain trepidation. The omens were not good. The director of The Pink Panther remake and stars that have had a patchy record recently, combined with a trailer that seemed to emphasize Vince Vaughn’s apparent inability to differentiate between ‘on the line’ and ‘online’ didn’t look like a great evening out to me. So I now have to report that, you know what? The Internship isn’t as bad as any of that makes it sound. Allow me to explain.
The movie tells the tale of two ace watch salesmen who discover from their client that their company has been shut down whilst out at dinner with said client. Their spectacularly sleazy boss (John Goodman, at one point literally phoning his performance in) explains to them that they and chronograph watches are now dinosaurs and that their skills and services are no longer required. So off they go out into the wide word of job hunting to attempt to put their sales skills to use elsewhere.
I can’t completely ignore the issues so far without mentioning the fact that chronograph watches must still sell by the bucketload and that at 43 and 45, it is very difficult to think that these guys would have a great deal of trouble finding alternative sales jobs. Putting those things to one side, Vaughn’s Billy persuades Owen’s Nick to join him in an online interview for an internship at Google. Of course they are accepted and off back to school they go. Or at least that’s what the Google campus seems to resemble.
I’m unclear if the film is complimentary to Google or not. I assume as it’s been allowed free reign on the name, trademark etc the internet giant thinks that what is portrayed in the movie doesn’t do them any harm. Maybe not but if real life at Google is anything like portrayed, it’s a very unsettling place of employment. Anywhere with a slide that’s not specifically for children has to be trying far too hard.
I digress. The film then clicks into an entirely familiar rhythm of failure, followed by people being outcasts, followed by team building followed by minor triumph, followed by more sage words from the elders, followed by slip ups and finally followed by a grand finale. To pretend that any of this is realistic, meaningful or in any way significant would be to have walked into the wrong screening. The film has nothing to say about the challenges faced by people who find themselves out of work and out of date (if you want that, go watch Glen Garry Glen Ross. Actually, if you haven’t seen that movie, go watch it anyway and shame on you for leaving it this late), it doesn’t really have much to say at all, well, certainly nothing you’ve not heard elsewhere. It’s scattershot, occasionally funny, even more occasionally laugh out loud funny, baffling to anyone outside Silicon Valley and mostly unoriginal.
Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it. Because I did. It’s actually not that bad. It manages to just about get away with its pointlessness by being almost entirely good-natured and a reasonable amount of fun. Wilson and Vaughn clearly enjoy riffing off each other and the young cast has a great time. Max Minghella is fun as the requisite bad guy, getting great laughs from both his put down of the requisite fat kid and the fat kid’s ultimate revenge and Tiya Sircar is wonderful as the edgy girl who’s really never done anything edgy.
I’m not by any stretch saying you should rush out and fork out eleven quid (or whatever your multiplex is charging these days) to see The Internship but if you find yourself with a couple of hours to kill and you’ve seen Despicable Me and This is the End, by all means check this out. If nothing else, it will make you think that working in mattress sales may not be as bad as hanging around at Google HQ. Or maybe not, I’m closer to Vaughn and Wilson’s age so maybe I missed the entire gag.
Check out the trailer for The Internship here.