Skip to main content

The Intern - 5Star

Robert De Niro works some old-style charm

Robert De Niro gets to work at Anne Hathaway’s fashion website in this warmhearted comedy. 4/5 stars

Bored, widowed retiree De Niro lands the job of senior intern at Hathaway’s firm. His worldly wisdom and retro suit-and-tie cool quickly wins over his younger colleagues, but prickly micro-manager Hathaway proves a tougher nut to crack...

This generation-clash comedy may be set in the up-to-the-minute online world, but it's a defiantly old-fashioned film, the sort of cinematic comfort food that is easy to digest.

And for those in the mood, it's a real treat; cosy, feelgood fare, for sure, but crafted with tender care and with plenty of good gags by writer-director Nancy Meyers.

The performances are another delight. De Niro tones down the mugging that sometimes mars his comic performances and is full of charm, while Hathaway renders her driven character likeable rather than off-putting. Yes, the film is a snug fantasy, but the stars' chemistry ensures its portrayal of an intergenerational friendship is touching and fun and Rene Russo and Christina Scherer provide sparky support.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.