Director Nancy Meyers makes entertaining comfort-comedies (‘It’s Complicated’, ‘Something’s Gotta Give’). Her films are like humongous bowls of macaroni cheese, and the latest, ‘The Intern’, may see you sink you into a feelgood coma.
Robert De Niro plays twinkly retired New Yorker Ben, who signs up to a seniors intern programme. After a borderline patronising interview (‘Where do you see yourself in ten years?’ ‘When I’m 80?’), he lands a placement with an online fashion store. His boss is kooky Jules (Anne Hathaway, relentlessly wholesome), who cycles around the office and is under pressure from her big-money investors to sell her soul and hire a CEO to run her booming start-up.
The world of ‘The Intern’ is shamelessly fake. This is the fashion industry, but forget about any bitching; everyone is psychotically pleasant. Are the straight-out-of college kids awkward with the old dude with a briefcase? No, because he’s retro cool – like a brick-sized vintage Nokia bought off eBay. Truthfully, the ideas run out quickly, but De Niro is easygoing, and this is indulgent good fun.