The Internship is a missed opportunity. Writer-producer-actor Vince Vaughan, reunited with his Wedding Crashers co-star Owen Wilson, had the chance to make a poignant and insightful comedy about the victims of the digital age.
The film, directed by Shawn Levy, begins very promisingly. Vaughan and Wilson are fast-talking salesmen in early middle age and with zero computer skills. When they lose their jobs, there is nowhere for them to go. "Everything is computerised now. They don't need us any more," they lament. In desperation, they sign on for an internship at Google.
Surrounded by a small army of young geeks, they initially seem utterly out of place among the "googlers" and "nooglers". However, they're personable, articulate, and have "life skills" (they know how to booze and chat up women) that their fellow interns lack.
It's at this point that the film begins to unravel. The barbed humour, at its best reminiscent of Barry Levinson's Tin Men, gives way to gloopy sentimentality. It doesn't help that the Google campus is such an unappealing place and that the staff behave as if they're members of some brainwashing cult. At least Wilson and Vaughan are personable as ever and Rose Byrne adds a little class as the Google exec so focused on algorithms that she has forgotten she has a heart.