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Article by Teddy Durgin

Google This: 'The Internship' is a Fun Movie

There's a couple of things you should know about me going into this review of "The Internship." I was born in 1970, the same year as Vince Vaughn and two years after Owen Wilson. So, I cut my teeth on the same movies of the 1980s and '90s that they did. I am also a bit behind the times in terms of technology. Of course, I know enough to do this job and my other journalism jobs. I surf the Web as a resource, I use a word-processing program to write and edit, and I can attach files to an e-mail for my editors on the other end. But texting and tweeting? No way. And I don't own any product with the little letter "i" in front of it. I heeded Mr. Roboto. The problem IS plain to see! Too much technology! Machines to Ahem. So, in a way, this movie sort of spoke to me. I get where the two leads are coming from. They are both in their early 40s and suddenly thrust back into the job pool when they lose their longtime gigs as watch salesmen. Rather than being stuck in go-nowhere sales jobs hawking other products, they decide to challenge themselves and enroll in Google's vaunted internship program for a shot at dream jobs on the tech titan's amazing corporate campus in Northern California. The problem is they're competing with dozens of hungry, hard-charging college students two decades their junior and they have all of two decades of catch-up learning to do. I enjoyed "The Internship." It reminded me of those campus comedies of the 1980s that made me want to escape the dreary, Draconian surroundings of high school and ascend to the halls of higher learning. I am talking specifically of "Revenge of the Nerds," "Back to School," and "Real Genius." While "The Internship" is being packaged and marketed as a vehicle for the two leads (who are making their first movie together since the mega-successful "Wedding Crashers"), I think it's their young co-stars who give the really interesting, quirky performances here. So much so that I almost wish the film was about all of the young 'uns competing with each other for the final job prize. More time could have been devoted to their angst, their dreams, their schemes, their triumphs, and failures. The most effective parts of the movie have to do with Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) dealing with the failed promise of their 1980s youth where so many of us thought we'd grow up to be Alex P. Keatons, Gordon Gekkos, or J.R. Ewings, while also talking down their younger counterparts who express their fears of being set loose in a working world where they likely won't be able to get jobs in their majors and be saddled with student loan debt all the way to Billy and Nick's age. There is a nice coming together of the generations here, a lot of "feel-good" instant messaging, and some genuinely warm laughs. The only real disappointment is that it's not a "gut-buster" as "Wedding Crashers" was. There is some good humor in "The Internship" and plenty of chuckles. There's just not a lot of BIG laughs. It's PG-13 as opposed to the R rating of the "Wedding Crashers." And, except for a brief sequence in the middle of the film in which Billy and Nick take their team of misfit interns to an upscale San Francisco strip club, it's a fairly "sexless" film. But the film builds up a lot of good will for the main characters. And there is a nice, multi-cultural vibe running throughout with funny turns by up-and-coming, sitcom-ready talents like Tobit Raphael, Tiya Sircar, Aasif Mandvi, and Eric Andre. And stick around for the early closing credits, too. They are the best I have seen this year.

"The Internship" is rated PG-13 for sexuality, some crude humor, partying, and language.

 

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