‘The Intern’ Reviews: Critics Call Anne Hathaway Comedy ‘Charming’ and ‘Sweet,’ and ‘Dopey’ and ‘Wretched’

Robert De Niro co-stars in film written and directed by Nancy Meyers

Last Updated: September 24, 2015 @ 12:41 AM

Critics are split on whether Nancy Meyers’  new comedy, “The Intern,” delivers. Some call the film “charming” and “sweet” and say audiences might learn something from it. But others were not as kind, saying the film tries too hard and falls into politically correct stereotypes.

Meyers is back after a six-year hiatus from filmmaking with the comedy starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway and Adam Devine.  In the film, 70-year-old Ben Whittaker (De Niro), begins an internship at an online fashion company led by Jules Ostin (Hathaway).

Among those weighing in, TheWrap’s James Rocchi, praising De Niro and Hathaway’s performances, saying that “considering the movie’s fortune-cookie-style ‘insights’ that old and young have much to learn from each other, it’s only appropriate that De Niro and Hathaway’s charms, and those alone, comprise the saving graces of ‘The Intern.’ After all, it’s they, not Meyers the director or Meyers the screenwriter, who ultimately accomplish the task of pleasing the audience.”

See ten other reviews about the Warner Bros. release below.

Scott Mendelson, Forbes:
Nancy Meyers ‘The Intern’ is a near-perfect studio programmer, the kind of mainstream multiplex fare that adult moviegoers and critics say we never get anymore. It is intelligent, empathetic, insightful, and charming to a fault, with great star turns from De Niro and Hathaway. […] This is Nancy Meyers‘s best film as a writer and a director, and I hope Hollywood allows her to make another one in fewer than six years this time. It is tempting to dismiss films of this nature or to quantify their success in lesser terms as a matter of course. But that would be a mistake. ‘The Intern’ is a truly superb film.”

Roger Moore, Movie Nation:
“There’s no edge to any character in the movie. The prospective CEOs that Jules auditions offend her in this way or that. But Meyers doesn’t show them. Meyers can be praised for striking a generational blow for gentility, kindness and dressing to impress. And Hathaway and DeNiro make this tries-too-hard tripe sing. Or at least hum along. But even a deft and hilarious non-rom-con starts to annoy when it closes in on the two hour mark.”

Tim Grierson, Deadspin:
“This one has more of the sting of real life to it than she normally allows, and while it’s still packed in her usual gauze, ‘The Intern’ isn’t just likable and sweet, but also poignant. In the process, Robert De Niro gives one of his best performances in far too long. She humanizes his shtick; he grounds her adorableness in something real.”

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice:
“Meyers can’t resist adding lots of godawful mischievous, tiptoeing-elf music (courtesy of composer Theodore Shapiro). The spongy subtext of this and every Meyers movie is ‘We’re being serious, but we’re also being FUN!’ No viewer must ever be made to think too much, feel too much, or be left out. She doesn’t so much tell a story as lead a team-building exercise.”

John Hazelton, Screen Daily:
“‘The Intern’ eventually manages – with the help of admirably game performances from Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway – to find something worth saying about Millennial generation women and men and their baby boomer forebears. It makes for a pleasant, if lightweight return to the screen for writer-director Nancy Meyers nearly six years after oldie romcom ‘It’s Complicated.'”

Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews:
“A popular entertainment with two movie stars in likeable mode, a sunny Hollywood sheen, and a novel premise. And yet there’s something vaguely unsettling about how Meyers’ mildly amusing comedy gets tangled up in political (in)correctness.”

Sean O’Connell, CinemaBlend:
“What if Nancy Meyers – specialist of the genial, non-offensive crowd-pleasers ranging from ‘It’s Complicated’ to ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ — took a stab at Lauren Weisberger’s caustic ‘The Devil Wear’s Prada,’ filtering the competitive work-place comedy through her softened lens? Well, it would look an awful lot like ‘The Intern,’ a charming, overly sweet and conventional comedy that has two bona-fide Movie Stars (capitalized for emphasis) doing plenty of heavy lifting to infuse soul into the formula. It works, mainly because Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway log overtime hours to make sure that it works.”

Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian:
“Despite a dopey elevator pitch and some truly wretched screenwriting, ‘The Intern’ still manages to be the most interesting thing De Niro has done in quite some time. If you don’t get permanent ocular damage from continuously rolling your eyes during the first 90 minutes, the final half-hour will remind you why he was once considered a great actor.”

Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.Net:
“‘The Intern’ won’t redefine cinema, not that it’s meant to, but it’s a sweet and clever crowd-pleaser that works equally well as a comedy and also dramatically, mainly due to the pairing of Hathaway and De Niro.”

Ethan Alter, Film Journal International:
Robert De Niro soars in Nancy Meyers‘ latest–too bad the movie itself only intermittently achieves liftoff.”

“The Intern” hits theaters on Sept. 25.