How wrong I was. In fact, the freshness of The Intern came as such a surprise that I didn't even need my fix of comfort food to feel safe and happy for a couple of hours—much unlike the naughty stranger sitting on my left, who demonstrated her poor upbringing by ferociously stuffing her pretty face, mouth wide open as she chewed away her extortionately overpriced popcorn like her entire young adult life depended on it and making more noise than a hundred necks snapping in Jason's favorite wet dream. You get the picture. So much for enjoying the first twenty minutes of Anne Hathaway's heartfelt performance and Robert De Niro's fine brand of verisimilitude. I nearly turned into a Jason Verheek myself, desperate to elbow that one woman munchfest into silence. (So much for (a) 'being an okay human being,' I know.)
But when my neighbor's noisy appetite was finally quenched and I was sucked back into the safety of the big screen, I was pleased to notice how often Nancy Meyers made us laugh about ourselves, meaning there was still hope in a world where everyone seems to be so easily offended. Isn't the way we treat the elderly the greatest offence of all? Marginalize the elderly now and, if you're lucky enough to reach that golden age of seventy-plus, one day the joke will be on you. The audience seemed to get the message and I for one hope it'll stick. The way I see it, we need to embrace people of all ages and not think—because we are young (and I don't mean me)—that we rule the world and to hell with old age.
Meyers has done a great job showing her viewers that relishing today's slick what-have-yous is the same as clinging to yesterday's you-name-its, and it's all good. Fashion shouldn't dictate a person's worth nor should a fancy Apple that will be gathering dust by the time you get out of fashion yourself. I liked De Niro's vintage leather briefcase, and something tells me the audience soon realized they did too. Isn't that great? Facebook is all fine, but don't let it stand in the way of a face-to-face conversation or, better yet, your experiencing the here and now through your own eyes and not through a six-ich electronic screen. The elderly have so much to share, much more than we do when we press that little share button, so why not put down that iPhone for a while and listen?
Oh how non-preachy this movie is, yet so clear. A typical case of show, don't discuss (so I'll keep it short). When, a couple of minutes into the movie, Anne Hathaway's character tells her brand new senior intern to wait for her to send him an email, and he offers to step into her office every now and then instead (her office is located at a leisurely ten-second walk away from his seat), she declines the offer and tells him... she'll send him an email. The message is clear on multiple levels. When she thinks it might be a good idea to postpone the all-important adult talk she and her unhappy house husband (nay, stay-at-home dad) had planned and watch Netflix instead ('What's that?' some will be asking in ten years), we know the clock is about to strike twelve and that glass slipper did not come with a receipt. Suffice it to say that in my mind's eye I saw a vision of the twin laptops sitting right next to each other on our dinner table at home. What do they say about us? I wondered.
Flash forward to the here and now.
My Bollywood Princess's laptop is switched off as I type this for (hopefully) your reading pleasure. It's a sign of our times that she's not at home or her non-Apple Hewlett-Packard would be switched on as well. It's all too clear to me now that we, too, have been infected with the Me-Virus. Why else would I be writing this blog and would she be on Facebook when I pretend I'm not looking? I'm tempted to say I may need to watch The Intern a second time and get my priorities straight. Reshuffle the deck. But I'm not going to. I know there is a golden mean somewhere and I'll be damned if anybody is going to keep me from finding it.
For what it's worth, I loved this movie. I hope you will too.
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