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The Internship has laughs but is no Wedding Crashers

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

Billy and Nick. Forget those names because they belong to two of the least memorable characters to darken the screen in a while. That may be a bit harsh, but to paraphrase B Kligan, the wagon of entertainment collapses under the baggage of mediocrity.

In 2005 I made the mistake of passing on playing the Wedding Crashers on release. It was too adult, too small, too inside, but really it was just too funny.
So when Fox signed on to release The Internship, which reunited Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two wisecracking hustlers trying to fit in where they don’t belong, it seemed like a sure bet. Which is why I don’t gamble.

Our story so far.
Billy and Nick are two super salesmen although it’s not exactly clear what they sell. Watches are referenced. We see early on that they’re slick and love their work but there aren’t  lot of demonstrable skills.
Early in they are terminated and we get the back story Billy (Vaughn) has a history of letting down his girlfriend who decides this is the final straw, never to be heard from again.
Nick, meanwhile, seems to have ne’er-do-well written all over him and he decides to go work for his sister’s boyfriend, the reigned-in Will Ferrell, who is good as the sleezy cheesy store owner who makes sketch bag seem less than magical.

Billy has hustled an interview for an internship at Google.
The fact that both of them know absolutely nothing about computers is irrelevant.
They bully a computer at the library, blow the interview because of their total lack of knowledge, but somehow pull off the miracle and get the position, in part because Google celebrates diversity and apparently that includes the moron contingency.

So, off they go where they get picked on by the smart kids, spelled everyone but them, but somehow they win over their team with Flashdance references and not at all inspirational speeches.
Here’s the thing.
The film has laughs.
I like these guys.
Vaughn can carry the film just on his wisecracking who-gives-a-rat attitude but that doesn’t make it a film.
A film has plot and story and even a little character development.

I like the cast.
There is genuine chemistry between the principals and I especially liked Josh Brener who plays Lyle and Aasif Mandvi who plays Mr Chetty.
The Internship plays out like an inspirational sports movie written by someone who knows nothing about sports. There are lots of funny moments.
Billy constantly referring to going “on the line” and the nerd herd matching him time for time with “online”.
The jokes sometime work, it’s the story that falls apart.

We know we’re headed for a cheesy ending but it’s still not protection enough from the schmaltzfest that erupts at the end.
Vaughn wrote produced and starred and it’s disappointing. Ah expectations. Such a weighty curse. The Internship is not the worst movie I’ll see this summer and it had some laughs but it’s no Wedding Crashers and that’s a shame. I deserved better.

As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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