Internship, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, John Goodman, Will Ferrell. Written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern. Directed by Shawn Levy.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Frat Packers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play hotshot salesmen whose company closes. Out of work and middle age, they find an opportunity as interns for Google. Fish out of water, they are teamed with 20-somethings in tune with all things Internet. The guys quickly becoming outcasts. Then they learn about surviving in this new world market while passing along life lessons to their younger teammates.

PREVIEW REVIEW: By now Iím sure youíre expecting various degrees of crudity in todayís movie comedies. However, Iím not sure the vast majority of comic movie supporters see it that way. While Iíll give you Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are funny men, they seldom stray from coarseness Ė they know their audience. But for me, itís difficult to relate to grown people who like their humor direct from the bathroom. Iím attempting to say that in a non-putdown manner. So, I apologize to any of you who must live with relatives baring hair on their knuckles.

The film starts out downright dreadful. It mines humor out of losing a job, a house, and a marriage Ė all in the same day. (I expected a doctor to phone with foreboding lab results.) But all this is done to set the stage Ė at 45, these guysí lives are at a crossroads. And in a world where college students graduate with few prospects further than the fast food industry, it quickly becomes clear that itís even tougher for people from the 1970s to capture the American dream in this new millennium. Our protagonists are archaic and out of touch with the venues that make up todayís electronic corporate life. It takes a deft comic agility to generate humor from such fearful realities. And the first half of the film is just not that deft.

The humor is sloppy, the pacing meandering at best, and the concept as predictable as Rodney Dangerfieldís Back To School (although that wasnít a bad film). Will Ferrell does a cameo, doing his angry manic man bit, which has become as funny as a large tattoo. What eventually saves the film from its bombastic vulgarity and joke-by-the-numbers formulaic simplicity is the likeability of the two stars. Except for their occasional misuse of Godís name or Christís (which sends negative signals to those of us who still belief God the Father and the Son should be reverenced), Vince and Owen show a sincere warmth that gives their later jokes some substance. And while they ridicule the disconnect many in Generation X suffer from, thanks largely to the ďwondersĒ of this electronic age, Misters Vaughn and Wilson also do their best to inject civility and caring into the lives of their fellow interns. They actually get them to look up from their iPods, iPads, or whatever they are, long enough to see the sights (pretty girls and the Golden Gate Bridge). Until now, these nerds have preferred viewing both on tiny glowing screens.

The film comes alive during the second half, but itís a difficult film to recommend as it is full of bawdy sexual inferences, references and enactments. The Internship also contains enough profanity to make a point that, well, Iím not sure what the point would be of using Christís name as a mere expletive. The film lacks any true satire. Itís not smart enough or original enough to satirize Google or this generationís slavery to all things electronic. But the bad guys lose in the end and all things good come to those who get jobs with the search engine of the moment. So, if youíre not looking for a more sophisticated parody or satire, and if youíre not bummed by irreverence to our Creator by two actors who apparently seldom attend church, this will be a pleasant enough time killer.

I would suggest Network or The Social Network as entertaining alternatives. Alas, while they are smartly written and still socially relevant, both those films also have their share of profanity and graphic sexuality. You see my dilemma? Occasionally a filmís profundity may outweigh the profanity. But I catch heck for just suggesting that argument!

One could call this movie merely an opportunity for a product endorsement as it reverences Google (not God, just Google) at every app-ortunity. (I know, I just cringed at that one.)

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Crude sexual references throughout.

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mostly the s-word, but the f-word is also well represented.

Profanity: Godís name or Christís is profaned at least six times.

Violence: A brief bar brawl.

Sex: It is suggested that the lead sleeps with a woman on their first date Ė always a great message for young people (not!); the group goes to a strip club, with lots of scantily clad women doing provocative pole dances and lap dances; many sexual conversations.

Nudity: No nudity, but scantily clad women are seen in a club.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: At the strip joint, the leads teach their younger teammates how to drink Ė well, how to get drunk.

Other: None

Running Time: 119 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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