The Intern (Blu-ray)

January 11, 2016 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Directed by Nancy Meyers, The Intern is a somewhat old fashioned, fairly predictable, light dramatic comedy that we don’t see very often any more. It features several strong performances with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in the lead roles. It’s certainly an enjoyable film that doesn’t ask a lot of its viewers, but likely one that’ll fade from memory once the closing credits begin to roll. Still, there are plenty of charming moments and the supporting characters are given plenty of moments to shine.

Bored with his now retired lifestyle, Ben Whittaker (De Niro) becomes a senior intern for an online fashion site. Jules Ostin (Hathaway) is the founder of the site and Ben’s boss. At first, she’s not quite a fan of his, but their relationship grows over the course of the film. Ben is very much “Old School” in his work ethic and his unfamiliarity with modern technology. It doesn’t take long for him to become Jules’ right hand man as he runs frequent errands for him which include taking her young daughter to and from school, among other things. Jules puts work first, and we see this as her relationship with her husband, Matt (Anders Holm) is somewhat rocky. Matt has given up on his career to take over daddy duties as he’s now a stay-at-home dad. We dive further into this over the course of the film as well as seeing Jules struggle with being CEO of her company. There are outsiders who want to buy her out, but Jules isn’t eager to give all that up. We slowly learn more about Ben as well. Jules clearly takes to him as he’s quick to offer her helpful advice when needed.

As I mentioned, The Intern is certainly an easy film to like, but not one without issues. For starters, the film is far too long. There’s an extended sequence where Ben and some other workers sneak into Jules mother’s house to hack into her computer to delete an embarrassing email. Some might find the sequence amusing, but it feels largely unnecessary and only adds to the already long running time. It doesn’t help that it feels as if it belongs in another movie all together. There’s also a plot twist regarding a secondary character. I won’t dive into specifics to avoid spoilers, but I didn’t like that angle. It feels too much like filler and also lessens a character as well. Instead of being viewed as simply a good person, it throws in this twist that feels a bit too forced. It’s not unusual for films to take a route such as this, but I think it would’ve been perfectly fine to just let the character be the person we saw from the beginning. Lastly, for a film that never feels rushed, the final scene felt hurried. It seems as if there should have been some words spoken before the credits rolled, but it simply ends abruptly without much closure. I don’t expect it to be wrapped in a tidy box, but it feels a bit lazy with how it closes. Still, with those issues aside, the film can be quite enjoyable. Hathaway often takes a lot of heat, but I’ve never had an issue with her. In fact, the performances are what help give us a better film that we might’ve otherwise had. Rent it.

Video: How’s it look?

While I will likely never consider a comedy for a reference-quality disc, the image here is still very nice. Warner provides us with an AVC encoded 1.85:1 transfer and it’s spot on. Colors are always deep and accurate, facial expressions and features show strong detail and clarity. There’s really nothing to complain about here. Lively, colorful and everything we’ve come to expect from a new to Blu-ray film. This is a very strong transfer and I have really nothing to fault it for.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Again, don’t expect this disc to be used to show off your system, but it still serves the film well. You can probably guess that the DTS HD 5.1 track is mostly dialogue driven and front loaded and you’d be right. The front channels do make up the majority of the track, but that’s OK. The vocals are always clear and precise and when the rear channels are needed, they come out nicely. So, this track will please fans of the film just don’t expect it to knock your socks off. It won’t.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Learning From Experience – An all too brief EPK on the making of the film with interviews with the cast and crew (as we might expect).
  • Designs on Life – Another fairly standard featurette that doesn’t offer a lot of insight into the film, but has some talking heads and what not.
  • The Three Interns – A profile on, you guessed it, the interns in the film.

The Bottom Line

Predictable to a fault, The Intern works in large part to the strong performances. It’s flawed and fairly predictable, but it’s also the sweet kind of film that we don’t see a lot of anymore. Recommended as a rental.

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