Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite in The Internship. After the hilarity of Wedding Crashers, many fans will flock to the theaters to see the comedic team back in action as they take on Google. Some will be pleased, some will be disappointed, but everyone will be fidgeting in their seats during this lengthy dramedy.
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. Trying to prove they are not obsolete, they defy the odds by talking their way into a coveted internship at Google, along with a battalion of brilliant college students. But, gaining entrance to this utopia is only half the battle. Now they must compete with a group of the nation’s most elite, tech-savvy geniuses to prove that necessity really is the mother of re-invention. ~(c) Fox
If you’ve seen Wedding Crashers, then you have an idea of what to expect out of this PG-13 flick. The framework of the movies are incredibly similar: Owen and Vince are a slick duo working on a con (in this case, getting jobs at Google), Owen needs reassurance from Vince to stick with it, Owen falls in love, Vince starts feeling left out and leaves, Owen convinces him to come back, and the bromance continues to a happy ending. Unlike Wedding Crashers, the humor of The Internship is a little more grown up. Vaughn and Wilson have left their usual raunchy shock-jokes in favor of ‘fish out of water’ humor. Both the characters and actors play up their Generation X roots, trying to convince the audience that two forty-something-year-old salesmen could fall out of touch with modern technology, and drum up a few laughs as they are thrown to twenty-something-year-old-tech-savvy-hipster wolves. The overage heroes are clueless when it comes to technology and almost everything else—Billy’s main cultural referent is Flashdance—but they are still able to give the kids what the film frames as life lessons: cheerful banalities about teamwork, true love, belief in one’s self and the courage to dream.
At 119 minutes, the laughs are a bit spaced out and the fatigue begins to set in halfway through the film. One scene in a strip club is unnecessarily drawn out in an effort to show Billy and Nick’s ability to rally their intern teammates and teach them how to live unconnected lives. The audience quickly realizes it’s just a tactic to beef up the running time. Why did director Shawn Levy think a two-hour dramedy was necessary? I have no idea. The characters – both main and supporting – have a hard time developing the way they ought to. These are characters who’ve been pulled from the cliché cut-outs book, ranging from socially crippled savants to the racy virgin feigning worldliness.
Regardless of the lackluster characters, the slightly implausible plot, and the overbearing feeling of being in a 2 hour Google commercial, there is a fair amount of fun to be had in The Internship. More than the laughs, the movie’s insistent sincerity is what shines brightest. These are not the smarmy frat-boys who’ve dominated the comic marquis for the past two decades; these are two grown men who are roughly adaptable, capable of some humility, and find humor in the gap between Generations X and Y.