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Movie Review: 'The Internship'

The Internship

Starring Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne
Directed by Shawn Levy
Rated PG-13

Comedy is a truly subjective.  Let’s say it again, comedy…is truly subjective.   Reviewing a comedy is a tough racket because that old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, fits like a glove when it comes to people trying to make us laugh.  Dane Cook may utter something that some may find ignorant and amazingly unfunny.  That same line delivered by South Park… those same people find genius.  Last year I reviewed Ted which I didn’t like, expressed my displeasure and got ripped apart for it by people who felt it was the funniest movie of last year.  It happens.  Comedy’s can either sink or swim by cadence and timing.  That’s 90 percent of the game right there.  And it’s the reason why a movie like The Internship, a movie that I had such low expectations for, doesn’t come off as being shall I say, second rate.  

The thing that hurts The Internship is the very thing the movie talks about quite a bit, innovation.  If the movie were a football time, it would be the worst football time out there, because everything they do is so calculated and by the numbers, without hesitation, you know what’s going to happen.    But what ultimately save’s The Internship are two guys with a dream, a dream to make you laugh with their big concept comedies.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the saviors of The Internship: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.   Lets be honest, these guys are pros when it comes to the comedy game. Sure they may not be the funniest dudes out there and even with The Internship’s somewhat heavy reliance on another Vince Vaughn/ Owen Wilson collaboration (Wedding Crashers), they do what comes naturally thus making The Internship more pleasing than it has any right to be.  

Vaughn and Wilson play Billy and Nick, two old school salesmen who suddenly find themselves out of a job and thrown into a world where being a salesman ain’t what it used to be.  And in an effort to find their new path in life, they apply and get accepted for the internship program with Google, a place where it seems an old school salesman has no business being in.  But don’t worry; this is classic fish out of water:   old school guy’s thrust into the new digital age; it’ll all work out in the end.   All it takes is a little camaraderie, a little love, a meeting of the minds between the old and new school, mixing those ingredients with a little honest hard work to defeat the super smart bully who feels entitled…everyone, you have your high concept comedy.  And when I say this could’ve of been a direct sequel to Wedding Crashers, I’m not far off.  Just replace crashing weddings to score chicks to crashing Google to forge a new career path.  It really is that simple…and unoriginal.

The Internship is also really just about Billy and Nick and their fish out of water scenario. It gives only the bare minimum effort to the supporting cast that includes Max Minghella (as the entitled bully) and Rose Byrne (as the love interest for Nick)  to insure this doesn’t turn out to be My Dinner with Andre.    And as for all the noise about this movie just an extended ad for Google, it’s true and not true.  Yes, Google is all over the place, the script obviously calls for it, but The Internship also doesn’t dwell on it, which I appreciated.

But in liking the pairing of Vaughn and Wilson, you sort of let the lack of innovation in the script take a slight pass, because it’s hard to deny the affable charm of the two leads.  The movie may not be as funny or outrageous as Wedding Crashers, but the movie isn’t without a few laughs, or at the very least, chuckles (the biggest coming from a couple of cameos).  Don’t get me wrong, it a little painful watching a movie knowing what’s going to happen with each following scene.  And if it weren’t for Vaughn and Wilson, I would serve this movie up with One Abiding Dude and vitriol towards it not seen since I saw Movie 43.

And right now, if you’re hankering to see a comedy, you’ll do better with this than The Hangover Part III.   Sure, while I found some humor with The Internship, you may find none. That’s the beauty of comedy and the frustration of reviewing one.  

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