The Internship -2013

Director Shawn Levy
Starring Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, Joanna Garcia, Josh Brener, John Goodman, Dylan O’Brien, Tiya Sircar, Jessica Szohr, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Gad
Screenplay by Vaughn and Jared Stern

The Internship plays like a mixture of the worst elements of every college film ever made.  This time the college is the coolest place to work in the world.  Or so they say.  From what I can tell, it’s a place where old comic actors and young no-names working the local improvisational scene get together and see if they can get some of the words – any of the words – to work.  Truly, I cannot picture what kind of person would decide that they would pay to see this futile attempt.

The Internship works on a personal level.  Vaughn and Wilson are good at incorporating worldliness with geekiness, and making those things represent the rebel nature of Google.  When taking the gentle approach, there are some real laughs.  Showing how many skills can go into a co-operative venture shows inspiration.

Showing how much a bunch of young dweebs learn by going to the local nude bar shows that one watched too many dumb comedies in the 80’s, 90’s or really any decade.  One can’t escape feeling a kinship to Stuart (O’Brien) as he is cajoled by Wilson’s Nick into admitting he had a good time.  It reminds one of any time an older person has introduced a younger one that it’s fun to chew tobacco, even when they choked on some of it.  It’s the beginning of a bad habit, but at least they’re doing it together, right?

There is more of this kind of stupidity in The Internship than there should be for it to be considered a good film.  Vaughn and Wilson are extremely likable in the right role.  Their earlier effort, Wedding Crashers, bursts with energy and imagination that is lacking here.  There are flashes, but not enough to sustain any amount of interest, even when dealing with such an engaging and cool place as Google.

Byrne is wasted here, given only a few typical scenes.  She needs to be unimpressed, then slightly amused, then impressed and congratulatory.  She hits ever point with a thud.  Manvi and Gad are utilized effectively, though.  The kids are alright, even if Brener’s character doesn’t know whether he works for Google or if his ass is on the line.

This film is by the numbers, taking a few bunt swings for singles and investing too much time and effort with the passe T&A jokes.  The conclusion of the competition is a pleasant surprise that reminds the viewer how little effort is put into the rest of the script.

The receipts show that the U.S. is willing to go for another Wilson and Vaughn effort.  If they can keep from wallowing in the blue, they might see even better results.

(**1/2 out of *****)

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