Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
I owe Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson a great debt. Back in 2005 they did a film together called “Wedding Crashers.” Funny film but I remember it best because a screening of “Wedding Crashers” constituted the first date for my wife and I. Happily still together we took in the new pairing of Vince and Owen in the film “The Internship.”
Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are born salesman. To paraphrase a popular saying, they could sell ice to an Eskimo. Currently they are in the high-end watch business. And now they’re not. In the middle of a sale they learn that their company has folded. Desperate, Nick takes a job selling mattresses in a store run by his sister’s boyfriend (a very funny Will Ferrell cameo). Billy begins a job search on line and discovers that GOOGLE is currently hiring. Actually the company is looking for interns, with a promise of a job for the best and brightest. Using their sales skills, the two talk their way past the admission board and embark on a journey to prove their Googly-ness!
Slow starting, “The Internship” is a buddy comedy with a message: that no matter who you are you have a purpose. Almost twice as old as all of the other candidates, the two find themselves at odds with pretty much everyone there. They are so out of touch that when a rival intern sends them to Stanford to get some information from a bald instructor in a wheelchair named “Professor Xavier” they blissfully head out. Of course, like all large gatherings, there are usually a few outcasts and Billy and Nick become a team with brooding Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), nerdy hot-chick Neha (Tiya Sircar) and Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael) a home schooled young man whose mother is the very definition of “Tiger Mom,” all being guided by team leader Lile (Josh Brener, who I’m certain will one day play Woody Allen in a bio-pic). The younger roles are all well cast, with each actor getting a chance to develop their character.
The film picks up when the teams begin competing with either. Whether they’re inventing a new phone app or playing a game of Quiditch, the concept of team first is driven home by Vaughn, who apparently has a vault full of inspirational “Flashdance” references. The script, co-written by Vaughn and Jared Stern (who co-wrote the Vaughn/Ben Stiller vehicle “The Watch”) has some funny lines, most of them delivered by Vaughn. Wilson gives Nick a sweet personality that works well for him when he’s trying to woo one of the GOOGLE instructors. Speaking of GOOGLE, the company should be pleased with the almost two-hours of free advertising the film provides. And if you’ve nothing to do this summer, you may want to see if they still need some interns.