I was coming in the cinema with rather low expectations.
As it turned out, The Internship is one of the better comedy surprises of the year.
Here’s the premise: Wedding Crashers co-stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn re-team to play a couple of watch salesmen who suddenly find themselves jobless when their boss (John Goodman) folds up his company to “retire” in Florida. In desperation, Billy (Vaughn) gets him and Nick (Wilson) slots at Google’s internship program, only to find themselves overwhelmed (and over their heads) not just with the Google workplace (the film’s cast and crew were even permitted access to the real Googleplex in Mountain View, CA) but also with colleagues way years their junior.
With the dogged dedication of Hercules doing the Twelve Labours, Billy and Nick find themselves allied with a rag-tag group of outcasts as they set about the 5 different steps of the Google internship program. These misfits include a loner forever fiddling with his smart-phone, a mama’s-boy Asian-American dude and an über-fangirl Indian-American. Cribbing equal parts from School Of Rock and Animal House, they manage to overcome rival teams, particularly one led by condescending jerkass Graham (Max Minghella, The Social Network), who isn’t above chewing up his own team when they fail. Billy isn’t afraid to get his nerd on himself as he draws wisdom from one of the most quintessentially 80’s of movies – Flashdance – in assisting the team to victory.
Flashdance – Final Dance
Flashdance – He’s A Dream (Alex only edit)
One has to give credit for the writers (including co-star Vince Vaughn) not overtly highlighting the Asian-ness of the two such designated characters (played by a Fil-American and Indian-American). A lazier writer would have done short work on the usual fish-out-of-water shit, but since you got our protagonists already filling up that position, it appears superfluous in that context.
There are a number of memorable scenes, including one incorporating a real-life game of Quidditch and a strip-club scene (the better to highlight the smoking curves of Gossip Girl alum Jessica Szohr, who plays a Googler moonlighting as an exotic dancer)
In the end, all that matters is the “googliness” of the interns, and Nick, along with a (reluctant) Billy earn their slots. So much fun is had, and some of our favourite misfits find love, and all is good.