Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, Will Ferrell, and John Goodman
This will be short, and not so sweet. The Internship is one of the most disappointing films of the year. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson worked a little magic when they teamed up for Wedding Crashers (2005). Despite the silly premise, they were enjoyable to watch, and the film became a certifiable hit. This time around, not so much.
Anybody who has watched the trailer knows that The Internship is going to be vapid. That’s okay. Every once and a while I enjoy a brainless comedy. But The Internship commits the cardinal sin of comedies: it’s simply not funny.
Things start out on a promising note. Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are a smooth-talking sales team pitching high-end watches. When their boss (John Goodman) declares them obsolete in the digital age, the two panic. Billy is facing foreclosure, and Nick takes a job with his sister’s boyfriend (Will Farrell) at a mattress store.
Billy becomes proactive and finagles the two into positions at Google as summer interns. If they succeed, they will win coveted spots at the progressive company. Thus the groundwork is laid for a typical fish out of water plot. The two find themselves competing against an army of über nerds fresh out of college. The interns divide into teams, and Nick and Billy land in a group of misfits. Naturally, the seasoned sales pros end up teaching the whippersnappers a thing or two about life and perseverance. Predictability ensues.
There are a few bright spots. When Vaughn and Wilson schmooze a potential client in the opening scenes, it’s a glimpse into what could be. The two effortlessly banter back and forth for the first fifteen minutes or so, before things derail. Vaughn repeatedly references Flashdance to inspire his Google teammates, which is so absurd that it works. Nick’s brief stint as a mattress salesman is a riot and Will Ferrell is great as the douchey mattress store manager sporting ridiculous neck tattoos. Rose Byrne plays Nick’s love interest, and Max Minghella and Tiya Sircar are standouts as fellow interns.
However, as soon as the men land on the Google campus things go awry. The audience is treated to scene after scene showcasing Google’s utopian work environment, which wears thin quickly. There is a good hour of padding in the middle of the film that lacks any shred of humor. The highlight (I use the term loosely) is when Nick and Billy take their tightly wound teammates to a strip bar and get them drunk. Yawn.
Vaughn penned the screenplay and Shawn Levy (Date Night) directs, so I expected better. But The Internship is overly long, predictable and boring. – Shannon