This "Internship" Won't Lead To A Full-Time Job Review

Wristwatch salesmen and best friends Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are out of work when their boss (John Goodman) suddenly closes down their business and moves to Florida. Without any real prospects or relevant job skills, Billy takes a long shot and gets them an interview for internships with Google, and against all odds or common sense, they land the internships. Getting the internships, however, is just the beginning as the head of the program Mr. Chetty (Aasif Mandvi) is all too eager to set the interns against each other in their battle for a coveted job. Billy and Nick will have to work together with their Google employee leader Lyle (Josh Brener) and a motley crew of geeks, egg heads, and a sexually frustrated cosplayer if they want to survive the internship.

The Internship is packed full of actors and comedians that I really enjoy. Some of the more recognizable faces include John Goodman, Aasif Mandvi, Rob Riggle, and B.J. Novak, but I was surprised to see Gary Anthony Williams who I loved as a cross-dressing lawyer on Boston Legal, and Harvey Guillen who I haven't seen since ABC Family's fantastic short-lived dramedy Huge. Unfortunately, The Internship has such a horribly unfunny script that almost none of these actors can make it work. The dialogue throws in cultural references all over the place, like Lyle calling his girlfriend his “Khaleesi” or Neha (Tiya Sircar) talking about her cosplay group having kinky group sex. None of these references connect or make any sense in their context because the writers are aware of Game of Thrones and cosplay culture, but it is clear they don't understand any of the references beyond a Wikipedia page entry.

To make matters worse, the dialogue is packed full of references to Google, Google products, and praise of Google as an employer and a force of greater good in the world. When Billy and Nick arrive at Google headquarters for the first time, they spend a ridiculous amount of time listing all the reasons why it is great to work for Google. “Oh look, Google has a giant slide!” “Google is like the greatest amusement park ever!” “Google gives away all this free coffee and bagels for their employees!” “Look at all the communal bikes, all for Google employees!” “Can you imagine working anywhere except Google? How awful!” “I want my work to mean something, and that's why I work at Google!” It is unbearably irritating and only serves as good PR for Google, not effective storytelling or good comedy.

I went into The Internship with the attitude that this movie couldn't be as bad as critics had made it out to be. I should have seen the warning signs, like the fact that there isn't a single critic quoted on the cardboard casing or the Blu-ray case. With every cameo, I waited for the movie to get better. Maybe the movie would pick up once they started the internship program. No, the internship program is a stupid series of reality-show challenges including a Quidditch match. Maybe the other interns like Neha, Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael), and Stuart (Dylan O'Brien) would deepen as characters and reveal unexpected skills and talents. If anything, the script digs in its heels and impedes growth, making sure these actors cannot possibly give any nuance to the characters. Honestly, I felt bad for the young actors, some of whom this is their first major film role, and I felt embarrassed for the veteran comedians who I think should have known better than lend their talents and credibility to this garbage.

On a last note, there was one character I did enjoy, even though his screen time was probably less than 5 minutes total. Josh Gad makes a cameo as a severely introverted Google senior employee, and he spends most of his screen time wearing headphones and pointedly ignoring the idiocy going on around him. I only wish I that I could have also put on my headphones and blocked out the noise of this unfunny Google ad, disguised as a summer comedy blockbuster.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The Blu-ray release comes with the movie on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital HD download as well as an unrated cut of the film, audio commentary by the film's director Shawn Levy, deleted scenes, and the featurette Any Given Monday.

"The Internship" is on sale October 22, 2013 and is rated PG13. Comedy. Directed by Shawn Levy. Written by Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern. Starring Aasif Mandvi, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn.

Nov
11
2013
Rachel Kolb • Staff Writer

I love movies, writing, and breaking into song in public. You can follow me on Twitter @rachelekolb or check out more of my work at http://rachelekolb.wordpress.com.

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