Apparently there is this new trend going on in Hollywood right now. It involves turning memes, apps, and now search engines into feature length entertainment. I don’t know about any of the students currently roaming the UA campus this summer but I for one find myself thinking, “How can such things add up to become worthwhile cinema?”
Well “The Internship” showed me how as it pushed all the answers and potential to the side for a couple of pop-culture references sprinkled on top of a story I could have found prepackaged by the Pillsbury Doughboy at Publix. However, the Pillsbury brand has been conquered and replaced by Google’s and this is only the first step towards their quest of world domination.
Because when I say that this film portrays Google as the pinnacle of human achievement, I mean it. I left the theater thinking how nice our new overlords will be. So if the cost of my freedom is a never ending pool of pudding and a nap pod I think would probably be alright. (Sentence sponsored by Google.)
The film opens with old-schoolers Nick (Owen Wilson) and Billy (Vince Vaughn) who have just lost their jobs as watch salesmen because, as their boss John Goodman puts it, “Who needs watches anymore? People have their phones!” Thereby cluing them and especially us, the audience, in that they are obsolete and out of date.
Unfortunately the film then feels the need to keep giving us that same clue in inconsistent ways. For example they are able to make a reference to “The Hunger Games,” which by all records is pretty recent, but they are unable to figure out who the X-Men are spite them being around since….well….since the two of them were born. Of course, I might just be feeling a little more sensitive being a comic-book lover, who knows?
So these two old dudes embark on a journey to be updated. Thus thrusting their charm into an online interview that finagles them the end all, be all…..an internship at Google where a group of misfits, love, whacky antics, and that one guy from “The Social Network” await them.
“The Internship” had a perfect opportunity to explore the generational divide between the young and old and how both struggle in today’s corporate-America world. Granted, the film disappointingly brushed all that none-sense off. Which is really a huge shame. Largely due to the fact the film inherently raises relevant issues that would be perfect for a genre like comedy to tackle head on.
I mean, why not? With many true old-schoolers like Billy and Nick losing their jobs and succumbing to poverty because they’re being replaced more and more by our Millennial’s digital landscape; we should root for characters like these who choose to dive headfirst into the ever growing Internet culture. Which, if this film succeeds at nothing else, at least anyone who enjoys the Vaughn and Wilson duo will be able to bask in awe at their ability to create magic out of back and forth banter.
Let’s not ignore the Millennial aspect with those swarming interns at Google either. The job market isn’t so nice for the young tech savvies and creative thinkers as of late. It’s actually kind of stark with only the select few being able to secure themselves financially where they can even make ends meet. The rest don’t get such happy endings and will continue to struggle. Don’t worry though, the movie will ignore those guys because it would bum the mood. At least they have Quidditch! No better way to change the mood than redirect our attention, right?
I am not saying that the film should have been a constant lecture made about our current times with simply one or two jokes that only a hand full of people got. No, that would be counterproductive and often we go to the movies to escape. Nonetheless, comedy is a cathartic device that allows us to confront certain things that otherwise make us uncomfortable or want to forget. More people are willing to listen when they are laughing and want to talk less when they are too scared to listen. “The Internship” swindled itself of the chance to become something more. That is about as much as one can truly say about this hour and a half long Google advertisement.