A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Internship follows two unemployed salesmen (Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn)-- who've made it to middle age without really accomplishing much of anything -- as they try to make it through Google's rigorous internship program. There's a fair amount of swearing (including "s--t," "p---y," and one "f--k"), and some scenes feature heavy drinking. One scene takes place in a strip club, where an extended joke involves a man ejaculating multiple times after getting lap dances. There's also a romantic subplot with some relatively tame innuendo and flirty banter. But the biggest love affair is between the filmmakers and Google, which is made to seem like the most wonderful place on Earth in this very obvious (and over-the-top) homage to the tech company.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Nick and Billy (Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, the dynamite comedic duo from The Wedding Crashers) are middle-age salesmen -- not especially successful ones -- who suddenly find themselves unemployed. Against all odds, the pair, who can barely manage email, land internships at Google, where their total lack of tech savvy and dated 1980s references make them stand out in a room crowded with brilliant college kids. The program requires them to compete against other interns in a series of challenges that exposes their inadequacy -- the winners land real jobs at Google, and the rest go home.
Is it any good?
Nostalgia runs firmly through this enjoyable comedy. Nostalgia for a pre-Google era when romantic prospects were still mysteries to be solved by getting to know someone, kids and grown-ups weren't metaphorically handcuffed to their devices, and business was transacted face to face and not, as one character puts it, "on the line." It's good fodder for a movie, but The Internship also reminds us of a kinder, gentler time when the joyful, meandering banter of Wilson and Vaughn was still fresh, unmined by the countless bromances spawned by movies like The Wedding Crashers. But here, it's just one of too many in a genre that's long been played out.
Still: We have here the masters of the form. Wilson and Vaughn share an undeniable, irresistible chemistry. They're the best thing about the movie, which suffers somewhat from very dated and tired references -- can we really not find anything else to resuscitate from the archives besides Flashdance? And are Quidditch jokes still a thing? -- and setups that feel like they make sense in the era of the Internet 1.0. The lessons learned are trite -- set aside the electronics for a while and live a little, and yay teamwork! -- but still relevant.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the messages in The Internship. How do Nick and Billy's weaknesses turn into strengths during the course of the film? What do the filmmakers think is more important, understanding people or understanding computers?
The film glorifies Google, as both a place to work and as a company that's dedicated to making the world a better place. Do you think Google is really that special? Or is this picture a little too rosy?
The movie portrays a strip club as a place to unwind and let loose. Is this the kind of place your friends and family go to relax and enjoy themselves? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to feature this locale in the movie?
- In theaters: June 7, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: October 22, 2013
- Cast: Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn
- Director: Shawn Levy
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 119 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sexuality, some crude humor, partying and language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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