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The Mass Media

“The Internship” is Predictable but Heartwarming

Phil Bray

In one of the funniest scenes in the movie Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael), Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), Lyle (Josh Brener), Neha (Tiya Sircar), Billy (Vince Vaughn), and Nick (Owen Wilson) finally get out of the Google offices and accidentally end up in a strip club.




Watch a preview for the new movie “The Internship,” and you can guess exactly what’s going to take place. Still, if you suspend your disbelief and pretend you’re not watching one big advertisement for Google, “The Internship” is heartwarming and contains some funny moments.

Despite a tired, formulaic plot (a group of outcasts have to come together to prove to their peers and themselves that they’re not just oddballs), the movie depicts the reality of our time — a reality where people are losing their jobs to machines and college kids are nervous about not being employed when they graduate.

The movie’s story revolves around Nick and Billy, played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Nick and Billy are two salesmen whose job of selling watches is, as their boss (played by John Goodman) puts it “obsolete” because of the digital age. The two salesmen try to make an argument to keep the watch-selling business open, but the boss proves his point when he asks his secretary the time and the 60-year-old lady pulls out a Smartphone to check. (The movie got a lot of laughs out of comparing the ways young and old folks use technology.)

With Wilson’s character resorting to selling mattresses and Vaughn’s character unemployed and deep in debt, the two decide they have nothing to lose and go for an internship at Google, which could lead to a job. Just to show how out of touch the two are with technology, the writers had Nick and Billy use a computer in a public library to conduct an online interview with Google because the pair don’t have their own webcam.

After giving their out-of-the-box answer to the interviewer’s odd question, “If you were shrunken down to the size of a pea and put into a blender how would you escape?” the two get the internship.

How can two men with no jobs, one in serious debt, afford to spend a whole summer interning for a chance to win a job at Google? Well that’s Hollywood, baby.

Upon arrival at Google headquarters, the two middle-aged salesmen stick out from the potential hundred 20-something-year-old, fresh-out-of-college interns like sore thumbs. And of course, when the interns have to split off and pick their groups, Wilson and Vaughn’s characters are not picked, along with a interns Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), Neha (Tiya Sircar), and Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael).

What happens next? You guessed it! The rejects are grouped together, and during the challenges put forth by Google to determine who will have a job at the end of the summer, the outcasts bond with one another and with their nerdy advisor Lyle (Josh Brener). The young interns help the two older salesmen learn about technology while the two older salesmen teach the kids to look up from their phones every once in a while and experience life.

The age difference between the two salesmen and the other potential interns makes for some funny moments. Wilson and Vaughn’s characters annoy the others in their group as the kids try to figure out a coding problem, so the two older friends are sent on a wild goose chase. (They’re told to find a Professor Xavier who teaches at Stanford.)

Vince Vaughn uses the plot of “Flash Dance” to motivate his team during an internship challenge, which is the game quidditch, as described in Harry Potter. Raphael’s (who is making his acting debut) character Yo-Yo has some of the funniest moments in the movie — drying his pants from the strip club’s bathroom hand dryer each time he gets a lap dance, plucking out an eyebrow every time he messes up until he no longer has eyebrows, and standing up to his controlling mother.

It’s predictable, yes, but the movie keeps you entertained. Wilson and Vaughn’s fast-talking, savvy salesmen not only charmed their way into an internship at Google, but will charm audiences.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a job or a paying internship, then “The Internship” is a worthwhile movie to catch in theaters at the matinee. Or you could just download a torrent off Google.



Email Daniel Richardson.