I wasn’t expecting a new addition to my personal Top Favorite Movies list, but to my chagrin that’s exactly what I got with the 2013 comedic tale “The Internship.”
Pairing Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson at the top billing of a simple comedy is a recipe for laughs, but “The Internship” delivers so much more than standard slapstick humor. A well crafted and relevant story that Vaughn penned himself (with help from Jared Stern) and just enough moments of inspiration and feel-good interactions make the movie terrific in a non-obvious sort of way.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have dominated comedic film throughout their careers. With their first pairing coming in “Wedding Crashers” the duo offer a certain brand of obnoxiousness that we’ve come to expect and love. But each has proven extremely capable in dramatic roles as well (Vaughn in “Return to Paradise” and Wilson in “The Minus Man“) and as such, both have the chops to tackle anything tossed in their direction.
The great banter between the two is on display right from the start, as the pair are singing along to the Alanis Morissette classic ‘Ironic.’ “What the shit is this?” Asks Nick (Wilson). “Why is this on the get psyched mix?” The pair come off as genuine buds and its not a stretch of the imagination to believe that Nick and Billy (Vaughn) are best friends with a host of memories together and are about to embark on another.
As a typical pair of white men in their mid-40’s, Nick and Billy are too old to be as technically savvy as the younger generation, and too young to be put out to pasture. When they lose their jobs as watch salesmen, its the type of feeling many of us can relate to. The only job they have ever excelled at is now obsolete, and its time to find a new source of income.
The writing by Vaughn and Stern offers the viewer quick but effective depth of each man; Nick is single but loves kids. Billy is a perennial slacker who eventually ruins everything he’s ever wanted. Director Shawn Levy has just the right touch to fully embody each character and the hardships they have encountered in their relatively mundane lives. After getting fired, we see Billy on his computer Google searching ‘Sales Jobs’ to which he quickly adds ‘with few skills.’
“The Internship” begins as a standard comedy, full of laughs as one would expect. “The future doesn’t know later.” Billy boasts as he delivers the news of his latest scheme for the pair – applying to a summer internship generally expected for young college students. “All the future is is later.” The more sensible Nick replies. “That’s literally what the future is.” But the true value in the movies presentation comes from the roles portrayed by Wilson and Vaughn.
When not being overly silly, the pair is shown offering real life lessons to the cynical youths they are sharing the stage with. As the typical younger generation is is shown being preoccupied with technical smarts, Nick and Billy become father/big brother type of role models – getting their younger partners to take their heads out of their phones and experience life. One particularly touching scene of a sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge will make you fully understand how great the story is.
Supporting roles and cameos are filled nicely by the likes of Rose Byrne, BJ Novack, Josh Gad, and Will Ferrell who is perfect in a short amount of screen time. “How’s it going Gossip Girls?” He barks at Nick and Billy. “The CW just called, your cancelled.” A hysterical line that makes sense to my generation and could only be successfully delivered by Ferrell. Serving as antagonists are Graham (Max Minghella) a bully type character competing in the internship, and Mr. Chetty (AAsif mandvi) as a hard nosed technical teacher.
I could complain that a few scenes run a touch too long, but the overall movie keeps that from being problematic. I ordered the DVD before it was even finished, knowing its the type of movie that gets great replay value. “The Internship” is as funny a story as one could create, and its heartfelt tones are a perfect balance to the laughs.
by – Matt DeCristo