WRITTEN BY: Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern
DIRECTED BY: Shawn Levy
STARRING: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne
RATING: 3 stars
Just from watching the trailer, it is clear The Internship is a giant advertisement for Google, although the company did not contribute funding to the film. That being said, the idea of working for Google is used to create comedy, so it is not such a big deal. The phrase “Google it” is already popular for many people, so it is hardly surprising that a company that already has a wide reach and is known to be one of the happiest places in the world to work, would inspire a funny film. If you can accept that and go in knowing this is not going to compare to Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's previous work in The Wedding Crashers, then you might actually enjoy a few light-hearted laughs along the way.
Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are salesmen whose careers have been made redundant by the digital age. They find a way into the coveted internship program at Google, along with dozens of young, smart and technologically savvy college students. They must outdo the young geniuses to prove they should be given full time jobs at Google.
Vaughn and Wilson have great chemistry and they use that to their advantage. The opening scene alone is enough to demonstrate that, as they sing along to an Alanis Morissette's hit, Ironic. There are also cameos by Rob Riggle as an awkward colleague, Will Ferrell as a mattress salesman with a neck tattoo, and a minor role for John Goodman who plays Billy and Nick's boss. But the young crop of actors are even more impressive. Tobit Raphael plays Yo-Yo, a stereotypically smart Asian student with mother issues, and he probably creates the most laughs. Tiya Sircar plays Neha, a quirky and funny girl who lacks life experience, while Dylan O'Brien plays the socially awkward and judgemental Stuart. Aasif Mandvi is also very funny as the supervising teacher. Aussie Rose Byrne keeps her accent playing a workaholic Google executive, but unfortunately she has lost much of her Aussie accent. She may as well have played an American.
What works in the film's favour is that older people, who lack internet and computer coding skills will watch it and laugh because they understand the issues that Nick and Billy face. Meanwhile, the savvy Generation Y viewers will laugh during scenes like when Billy says “on the line” instead of “online”. There are also some funny and random references to Flashdance and Harry Potter. Perhaps the best scene is when the older men take the younger generation out on the town. That is funny no matter how old or young you are.
But, The Internship also has many flaws, not least of which are the drawn out motivational speeches, of which there are far too many. The film could also have been about 30 minutes shorter.
While The Internship is not a landmark film, it is entertaining enough.