Well, Scott, after watching The Internship I want to run right out and get a job with Google!
(Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond)
Me, too, Greg. This movie allowed us to witness the behind-the-scenes coolness of how Google operates. Well, at least the Hollywood version of how it operates.
Our story starts out with two intrepid salesmen, Billy and Nick (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) selling watches to a retailer. They don’t get far into their polished pitch when the mark tells them their business folded and they are out of jobs. They rush back to headquarters where their boss, (John Goodman), tells them they are dinosaurs. Nobody needs a watch because everyone has a smartphone to tell time with.
Desperate for money, the two men apply for summer internship positions at Google and only get the job because they differ from the norm. They are clearly misfits at Google and are thrown together with quirky Google employee Lyle (Josh Brener) and three other outliers, Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), Yo-Yo (Tobit Rafael), and Leha (Tiya Sicar). The six of them form a team that must meet a series of competitive challenges to land a permanent job at the company.
But things aren’t as easy as they might seem. Aside from the fact that our heroes are obviously out of their element, they have a nemesis in Graham (Max Minghella), an overly ambitious and arrogant Noogler (new Googler) who is out to derail “team Lyle.”
Scott, this is a classic “fish out of water” tale with Google as the ocean our buddies have landed in. If you mixed Meatballs and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest you’d have a pretty good idea of what is to come. I was all set to hate this movie’s formulaic premise, but Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are so incredibly likable that it is hard to not to get sucked into the plot and start cheering for these underdogs.
I agree, Greg. Vaughn and Wilson play two lovable goofballs who find themselves in way over their heads and yet are so sweet and endearing that we find ourselves rooting for them to succeed in an environment that they can’t possibly thrive in. We won’t give away what happens, but we can say that their experience as sales people end up serving them well at Google.
We know from the movie trailer that The Internship is a traditional underdog story involving two old tech-challenged guys competing with tech-savvy college students. The old guys even refer to a 1980s underdog movie, Flashdance, in an attempt to make their points to the students who aren’t even old enough to get the reference. So once we see it’s an underdog movie, we’re clued into how the film must end, but that’s okay as long as we can enjoy the ride there.
You’ll find everything in it’s place: the underdog guy shooting for the impossible girl, the loser who has to overcome his lack of confidence, the geeky guy who comes out of his shell, and the hot girl who has never had a date. There are no surprises and yet it all comes together very nicely.
Google, Inc. has claimed no money exchanged hands in the making of the film. However, the film crew were allowed to shoot 5 days at Googleplex – the headquarters of Google in Mountain View, California. We’re treated to what it is like to work and live within the Googleplex: free food, free volleyball, and “energy pods” (a designated area for napping). Despite not contributing to the bottom line, this is a pretty sweet ad for Google.
Yes, Google comes out smelling like a rose in this film, which I’m sure was their intent. I didn’t mind one bit, however, as we’re treated to their impressive facilities, their army of sweet overachieving geeks, and their progressive corporate philosophy.
The Internship is a good-natured yet formulaic comedy that is deficient in the laugh department but is nevertheless fairly enjoyable. The movie features appealing characters who overcome their limitations in rising to the occasion to meet both intellectual and romantic challenges. I give The Internship 3 Reels out of 5 for it’s overall charm and appeal.
The team of heroes underwent a nice transformation, with each individual in the group discovering his or her missing quality. The team itself came together nicely, although I’m not sure that a night of drunken debauchery was the only way to achieve team unity. This wasn’t a terrific hero story but as a comedy it satisfied me plenty. I give it 3 Heroes out of 5.
All the elements of the hero’s journey are in place, and they arrive at just the right times. I was pleased with the buddy story; Billy and Nick are equals in this tale and each props up the other’s weaknesses. Sadly, all the funniest bits and major turning points are in the trailer – which is a common problem with today’s films. So, for a likable pair of underdogs who pull us in and make us love them, I give The Internship 3 Reels and 3 Heroes.