Cynical critics will probably go into The Internship, the new buddy comedy from Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, ready to report that this new film tries—and fails—to recapture the magic of Wedding Crashers, the last movie to pair these two together. But those critics are in for a pleasant surprise.
The Internship follows two forty something men who land summer internships at Google after being laid-off from their obsolete sales jobs. Once there, all the interns are divided into teams and told that throughout the summer, they will compete in a series of challenges and the team that does the best will be given permanent jobs with the company. Unfortunately for our two main characters, Owen Wilson’s Nick and Vince Vaughn’s Billy find themselves with a ragtag team of fellow misfits that no one else believes have a shot at winning this competition.
After hearing this description, you might think that you can already guess the film’s ending, and you’d be right: the plot is, in fact, rather predictable. But at the end of the day, this film is a comedy, and while the ending might not be incredibly original, the journey is incredibly funny. There were a lot of great moments between Wilson and Vaughn, who clearly have a bond both on- and off-camera, as well as some hilarious scenes between their team as a whole. The film doesn’t rely too heavily on situational humor (although there is plenty of that), but also has great dialogue and several quotable sections throughout the film.
The movie is very similar to the 2012 remake of 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in that it places two older guys right smack into a youth culture that completely eludes them, which is where most of the comedic gold comes from. However, instead of turning it into a two-hour movie about how funny watching old people try to use technology can be, it effectively riffs on both the absurdity of youth culture and what happens when older generations try to infiltrate it. One of the best sequences comes when Vaughn and Wilson get excited at the prospect of an athletic challenge—only to find that the game of choice is Quidditch, which of course, they know nothing about.
Similar movies are often so over-the-top raunchy that the main characters become sexist, racist, or just plain douchey that they become caricatures of actual human beings. This film proves that you can still make this type of buddy comedy while creating likable, relatable, and realistic human beings that the audience can root for, which makes the film that much more enjoyable and allows viewers to laugh along with the characters throughout the film.
Viewers may complain that the film does, at times, feel like one long advertisement for Google, and it’s true that the movie would have been more effective if it had the two main characters working at a nondescript internet company--but at the end of the day, the movie is reliably funny, and that has been hard to come by in a year of lackluster comedies. If you are looking to laugh, this is the movie to see. B