The Intern might be considered an example of a mature comedy, and this is refreshing. It’s relatively free of silliness (with one or two brief exceptions) and it’s certainly an example of a longing for maturity that I suspect runs pretty deep for all those who get past the age when video games and partying define the best of life. The movie seems to suggest that everyone should long to have De Niro as a father figure in their life because his character is pretty much flawless. You could even call him an archetype of maturity in the film, though this points out a few problems since it exposes a Hollywood bias toward a strong link between maturity and a stylish success. The mature man doesn’t only carry a handkerchief but has a powered tie rack in his walk-in closet. But to be fair, there are probably good Hollywood examples of blue collar or rural maturity out there as well.
The other strength/weakness is the film’s clear message promoting women’s leadership in the workplace. The heart is in the right place, but some scenes come across as subtly as if they were written by a feminist focus group. We get it – the outrageous obsession and success of Jules (Hathaway) does not mean that it’s her fault if some parts of her life don’t work. And clearly it is not ok to explore any nuances that would hint that anything should get in the way of the new, feminized American Dream. Still an enjoyable watch and mature comedies aren’t that easy to find, so it’s a somewhat generous *** from me.