Susan Granger's review of 'The Internship'
Published 4:21 pm, Friday, June 14, 2013
The line between a legitimate feature film and a product placement-filled infomercial grows thinner than ever with this underdog comedy set on the Google campus, a techie Mecca often reverently referred to as Eden.
When affable traveling salesmen Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) discover that their watch company has folded, they're in their mid-40s and out of luck in the modern workplace. While Billy takes a temporary job selling mattresses for his sister's randy boyfriend (uncredited Will Ferrell) in Los Angeles, Nick decides to Google Google and look for a job at the giant of the high-tech world.
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While a brief Skype interview reveals how little these "dinosaurs" know about the digital world of search engines and social networking, it somehow works in their favor because of Google's determination to achieve age diversity among its employees.
Soon they're on their way to a summer-long internship at Google's corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., where they not only discover the free coffee, fruit and bagels but also the coveted nap-pods. But they're not alone. There are many other aspiring programmers, called Nooglers, many of them prodigies, who yearn to spread the Silicon Valley corporate gospel, including a cynic (Dylan O'Brien), home-schooled shy guy (Tobit Raphael) and Comic-Con geek (Tiya Sircar). Predictably, Nick flirts with a mid-level exec (Rose Byrne), and Billy trades barbs with a British bully (Max Minghella) -- and neither of them comprehends the "X-Man" Prof. Charles Xavier reference. Then there's the bonding strategy of an awesome Quidditch match, motivated by a "Flashdance" metaphor.
Written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern, based on a fish-
out-of-water story by Vaughn that was inspired by a "60 Minutes" segment on how Google was one of the best places to work, it's directed by Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum"). Although it's being touted as a sequel to "Wedding Crashers," it isn't -- except for a brief party scene in a San Francisco strip club.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Internship" is a tame, dreary 5. Bing anyone?