Film critics don’t often acknowledge it, but making a successful movie is a hard business. As with most art forms, there’s almost nothing new, so in order for their work to be appreciated, filmmakers have to do their best to put a fresh spin on stories that can often be as old as the medium.
That’s exactly what everyone involved with The Internship has done. The main plot is tried and true, that of the underdog outcasts fighting to overcome their lot in life and/or those who would oppose them.
But it’s the manner in which that story is executed that sets the film apart. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, previously seen together in Wedding Crashers, have teamed up again, this time playing Billy and Nick, two downsized salesmen who seize upon a chance to be interns at Google as their ticket back to gainful employment.
The premise is far-fetched, but that ends up being one of the film’s greatest strengths.
The premise is far-fetched, but that ends up being one of the film’s greatest strengths. Having two older people trying to make it in a young man’s game, especially one like Google, provides ample opportunity for jokes about Billy and Nick being out of touch with the world they thought they knew.
The supporting characters are off-the-wall enough to be genuinely quirky but not so much that they’re completely unbelievable. And whoever made Max Minghella Billy and Nick’s main tormentor earns a gold star for subliminal casting. Minghella is best known for his role in The Social Network as a partner of the Winklevoss twins, but he shines even brighter here.
Great supporting cast aside, it's the chemistry between Vaughn and Wilson that truly makes the movie sing. Vaughn, who also co-wrote the film, talks a mile a minute, while Wilson takes the more laid-back approach, but both come off as the best friend of everyone they meet. This combination makes for a consistently funny film from beginning to end — a rarity these days.
Because it follows the underdog-makes-good plot to the letter, the film loses a bit of steam toward the end. And a superfluous romance between Nick and Dana (Rose Byrne), a Google higher-up, is sweet but vastly underdeveloped, adding little to the product as a whole.
But those minor faults can be brushed away, leaving what’s easily the best comedy to come out this year. The Internship will have thousands of people wanting to work for Google — and also begging for a Vaughn-Wilson reunion in the near future.