The Intern

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Intern Movie Poster Image
Comedy about work, marriage is winning despite clichés.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 121 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Friendship knows no age or hierarchy. Believe in yourself, and learn from those who've come before you. Other issues/themes include "having it all" and dealing with infidelity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jules is kind, caring, driven, smart, and hardworking -- albeit over-stressed. Ben is polite, very observant, kind, and empathetic. Despite his age, he doesn't feel superior, nor does he feel the need to look down on others who may not be as experienced in life as he is. On the downside, the cast shows a remarkable lack of diversity.

Violence
Sex

Some innuendo, prompted by a masseuse during a massage (references to sex, erections). Couples kiss while in bed. A married character is discovered to be cheating.

Language

Some swearing, including "s--t," "ass," and "bitch." One character gives another the finger while mouthing "f--k."

Consumerism

Many products/labels seen/mentioned, including Dell, Apple, iPhone, Audi, Sony, Samsung, Casio, Netflix, Skype, Gilt Group, Stella Artois, and Budweiser.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking. In one scene, a character downs shots and gets so drunk she throws up in a trash can. One character refers to needing a Xanax.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite being a bit formulaic, The Intern -- which stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway -- is a deeply felt, heartwarming movie about friendship, careers, and marriage. Although those are fairly serious themes, the movie takes a light touch with them, and teens may find its messages inspiring, particularly the reminders to believe in yourself and to learn from those who've come before you (though they may also take issue with its lack of diversity). Expect some swearing (mainly "ass" and its cousin, "badass," as well as "bitch" and "s--t"), and drinking (once to the point of getting drunk and throwing up), and a few suggestive jokes about erections and sex (plus kissing and a situation involving cheating).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byYellowtulips October 11, 2015

Sweet movie

Overall a sweet movie that celebrates and honors the wisdom and connectedness of the "good ole days". The values of relationship, love, and friendshi... Continue reading
Adult Written byCamisita March 4, 2016

Great movie about older people in the workplace

I think this movie gives 2 perspectives. A young start up company and the challenges it can face and older people going back to work or staying in the workplace... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJflores14 September 25, 2015

Uplifting comedy is perfect for teens and adults alike!

This film is one of a kind and will pull at the viewers heart strings, as well as make them laugh constantly. I loved it and I'm sure other teen romantics... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byerogers September 24, 2015

What's the story?

Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is a 70-year-old widower living in Brooklyn who's grown tired of retirement. He's tried everything from tai chi to yoga to Mandarin lessons and has visited his son and his family across the country many times. So when Ben spots a flier announcing that an e-commerce fashion site is looking for "senior interns" -- retirees willing to work as interns -- it seems fated for him to get the position. And he does. His assignment: to assist the website's founder, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). But Jules -- who's juggling motherhood, wifehood, adulthood, and an e-commerce site beholden to venture capitalists who are agitating for her to hire a more experienced CEO -- doesn't think she needs an intern. Until she's proven wrong.

Is it any good?

THE INTERN wears its very big heart on its (stylish) sleeve, and it's none the worse for it. Director Nancy Meyers knows how to examine the real concerns women face -- how to have a fulfilling career and personal life while continuing to grow as a person -- with humor, compassion, and grace. Hathaway is winning as Jules, a woman who may be on the brink of a nervous breakdown but is so compassionate that you can't help but adore her despite her flaws. She meets her match in Ben, portrayed by De Niro with such warmth you can't help but love him, too. 

The movie isn't without its flaws, including a stunning lack of diversity for a movie set in NYC and an oversimplified exploration of the challenges of juggling work and marriage. Nonetheless, Meyers deserves credit for even tackling this thorny subject -- including the tired but sadly still present tug-of-war between stay-at-home moms and working moms -- and presenting a nuanced approach to marital challenges. Ditto for attempting to portray a successful young businesswoman who's neither cut-throat nor ineffective, just overwhelmed and needing to find herself in the process, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Intern addresses the idea of the generation gap and sharing experiences. What have the two main characters learned during their careers, and how has that positioned them to learn from each other? What do they gain from each other's experiences?

  • What is the film saying about women in the workplace and their struggles? How does it address the idea of "having it all" (or even "balancing it all")? Do you agree with the choices Jules makes?

  • How is drinking depicted in the movie? Is it glamorized at all?

  • Is Jules a role model -- both to viewers and to other characters in the movie? If yes, what makes her so? If not, what makes you doubt her? How does the film depict her as wife, mother and daughter?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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