I was so pleased when I read Heroic Measures and it didn’t feature the older people or the dog dying. Those kinds of events seem to be standard fare in books and movies. It is much, much harder to write a book or make a movie about real, everyday people living mostly happy lives. Of course that isn’t necessarily the truth of life, but it is certainly a truth. There are a whole lot of happy, good people out there. They have their troubles and cares but they also have great joys, and I, for one, like to read about them in books or see them at the movies.
I began watching The Intern with no previous knowledge. I knew who the main actors were and that’s it. Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.
And I knew it was a Nancy Meyers movie.
I love The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, The Parent Trap (the remake), and Father of the Bride (remake). I like her view of the world, and had high hopes that I’d like this one, too. And oh, how I did. I loved it. And Tom felt the same way. Here is how she describes her work:
Nancy Meyers knows who she is and who she isn’t.
What she isn’t is a filmmaker known for high-concept, ambitious stories or action sequences and stunts.
What she is, is a producer, writer and director known for “Something’s Gotta Give,” ”The Holiday” and “It’s Complicated” who creates well-developed characters having relationships that unfold on screen.
“You don’t come to my films for that amazing plot twist,” she said in a recent interview. “I’m not trying to put myself down but the plot isn’t sort of what stirs it all up. “
She says characters are “Where I put my energy. I want to make them people you care about. I just want to make them people you care about so you get invested as you tell the story. You’re in with me.”
Robert De Niro is a widower who misses having a purpose in his life. Even though he has money and friends he feels there is a space that needs filling. He sees an ad for a senior intern, and applies for the job. And the movie goes on from there.
There aren’t the expected stereotypes. First of all the different generations in the company get along well together. Younger people listen to the older man. The young people are not superficial and vacuous. Every person in the movie seemed real to me. There were surprises all through the movie. I’d think, ‘well, I didn’t expect that.’ Good surprises. Small surprises. No one is perfect, no one can hold it all together all of the time - just like real life. And there's a delightful heist scene!
I will add this spoiler, as I did with Heroic Measures, there’s a happy ending. The old fellow doesn’t get sick and die, and in fact, has a romance! The young people work on their problems.
This is a movie with much kindness and compassion and intelligence. One of the very best I’ve ever seen.