Rating: 2 out of 5
If you liked Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell in ‘Wedding Crashers’ (2005), you will probably be disappointed with ‘The Internship’, because you’ve undoubtedly seen all the gags and heard all the jokes.
Billy McMahon (Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Wilson) are a dynamic duo who sell watches and become unemployed in the most ludicrous fashion.
They realise, to their horror and bewilderment, that their experience and interpersonal skills have little relevance in the digital age. This is supposedly because people are using their smartphones to tell time instead of watches.
Their predicament is especially rued by Billy, as he half-heartedly googles “sales jobs for people with few skills” after he gets dumped by his girlfriend. That is the highlight of this movie.
A particularly cringe-worthy moment is when Billy corrects his girlfriend’s pronunciation of “Barcelona”, but nothing would grind your nerves more than Will Ferrell’s annoying wisecracks.
After some tedious and contrived developments, including faking credentials and the committee at Google deciding to give these clueless klutzes a fighting chance – because oh, Google is all about diversity, and they do things differently – Billy manages to land himself and his pal coveted places in an internship programme at the company.
WHAT THE MOVIE IS SAYING
However, in order to land a job, they will have to engage in a ‘Battle Royale’-style (geek version) competition. From here on, the film tells us five main things:
1. Google is the greatest work place on Earth
2. Everything is free at Google, as long as you don’t take it home
3. People above the age of 40 know nothing about the internet, or X-Men
4. Youth today are either cynical or unscrupulous
5. The best place for team bonding and self-realisation is a strip club
So among other young interns are these two middle-aged blundering buffoons, out of place and out of touch.
By sheer attrition, they form a crack team with some one-dimensional characters, and the plot descends into a rehash of ‘Old School’ (2003), except this time the misfits are not in college, and the other Wilson (Luke) was much funnier in that one.
The Google bootlicking throughout the movie is excruciating to behold, and so is the arrogant antagonist Graham Hawtrey (Max Minghella), who does little more than bellow about how smart and qualified he is.
But all is not lost with this faltering flick. However unconvincing the plot is, you find yourself rooting for the underdog, because we do identify with the difficulties the characters face, and sometimes we just need someone to state the obvious time and again that:
1. It’s never too late for love, or a mid-career switch
2. You can still teach an old dog new tricks
3. Google is the greatest work place on Earth