Seeing the posters for this movie around the place will give you an idea of the feel of this film, and stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, while accomplished comic actors, aren’t exactly the most selective of actors when it comes to choosing what to work on. The bets were on this being unoriginal, and they were right. That, however, is not where the film’s strengths lie.
The Internship is the tale of two out of work salesmen who decide to try their hand at being interns at Google, something they both know little about and many would say are far too old for. Vaughn and Wilson pull off a brilliant on-screen partnership as the aforementioned two, carrying many of the jokes and creating humour with gestures and actions that aren’t reliant on a very hit-and-miss script, penned by Vaughn himself.
When the script hits it does manage to produce various funny moments, which include a small role for Will Ferrell as an obnoxious and womanising shop owner, as well as the general interplay between the two stars which is done well on the most part. Wilson’s inherent charm is hard to resist, as Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris ably demonstrates, and it usually takes severe breaking down with a horrendous script a la Marley and Me to become annoying, and this is nowhere near on that scale. Indeed, its laugh count is far higher than many other comedies and the individual jokes have a degree of wit and sincerity that is admirable.
The sense of detachment between the comedy and the plot itself continues, however, as the two come in to contact with each other. While some characters, such as the film’s primary antagonist played by Max Minghella, are very hard to fathom and seem there simply to add another plot element and the romances are either very clichéd or very bland, the film works best if you appreciate the individual humorous moments on their own terms, and without any of these disappointing distractions.
One such scene involves a game of Quidditch between rival groups that in relation to the rest of the film makes very little sense. It also, however, makes for some of the best bits of it, so this weird lack of coherence can be forgotten about if the whole section is appreciated a bit like a Youtube sketch. It’s indicative of the film that many other sections, including one in a club, have a similar feeling.
The Internship feels like it should be worse than it is. With a plot that has been recycled so many times it’s pretty much instantly recognisable, it’s the acting chemistry and the sense of fun that keeps it all together. Wilson and Vaughn, a notable team in Wedding Crashers, may look at teaming up more regularly as it clearly works, and other acting performances aren’t bad, even if they don’t have much to work with.
Director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) is a master of this sort of cheesy, formulaic comedy and comes up with the staggeringly unfunny more than he ever does something that’s even vaguely amusing, so he should certainly be applauded for a film that actually garners a good few laughs, even if the setting, as interesting as it is, feels a little too gimmicky and even like a surreptitious advert.