It’s surprising that a studio took this long to team Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn up to headline another comedy since the Wedding Crashers was released in 2005 and met with critical acclaim and a hefty box office total. But The Internship isn’t the success that Wedding Crashers was, although fans of the two stars won’t be too disappointed by the attempt.
The plot involves a couple of salesmen, Billy and Nick (Vaughn and Wilson, respectively), losing their jobs with the closure of their company and deciding that the best course of action is to become interns at Google despite having absolutely no technological skills and not being in college — both of which are requirements for an internship. They join an online college and lie on their application and in their interview, soon finding themselves interns at Google, which we learn is a much different experience from most other companies. They wind up joining a team of misfits — because we are doing that storyline again — and get put through silly, sometimes tough, challenges. The winning team is guaranteed employment and the rest are sent home.
The Internship has appeal for almost anyone. Older audience members will relate to the more laid back protagonists, while those in college, or soon to be in college, will sympathize most with the other interns — who are overworked and feel like the future will devour them if they’re not prepared. If you’re even younger than that, one has to wonder why you’re watching a Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson comedy, despite The Internship having a PG–13 rating as opposed to the R rating attached to Wedding Crashers.
Much of the film involves long speeches on how one should live their life: the older characters tell the younger ones about how they need to lighten up and live for the moment, the younger interns tell the older ones that things have changed and that working harder than the next person is the only way to get ahead. There are laughs to be found in The Internship in between all these speeches but not enough to justify its near two-hour running time. A more rigorous editor could have trimmed thirty minutes off the film and it would have been much better as a result.
The Internship feels like a two-hour Google commercial, where it is portrayed as the best and most fun company on the face of the planet. It’s progressive, with few rules and working there is the ideal toward which everyone should be striving. A movie based around working for a company can’t portray it in a negative or even objective light, but if you normally hate product placement in movies, you’ll hate The Internship on principle.
The Internship isn’t the second coming of Wedding Crashers, but it’s not the failure that it could have been. There are laughs, even if the Google advertising does often get in the way of them, an editor could have trimmed the fat and improved the picture and the clichéd story — how many teams of misfits do we need to see trying to win the big prize? — hurts it in the originality department. But the most important aspect of comedies is whether or not they’re funny and in intermittent bursts The Internship is funny. It’s not a recommended watch, but if you happen to find yourself viewing it by mistake, you’ll have a decent time doing so.