The movie opens with an overview of Ben Whittakers life as a retired widower; after traveling near and far, reading his entire home library, learning a new language, and essentially checking off many of his bucket-list items, the senior citizen is bored.
The plot of the movie takes us through the relationship between the senior intern and his boss, a young female founder of a thriving start-up company. The director takes us through the progression of their relationship, which begins with Ostin feeling highly hesitant to follow-through on the senior intern initiative. However, as Whittaker proves himself to be a useful and likeable among the company staff, Ostin takes him up on his offer to assist her. There are several moments in the film that display turning points in their relationship. First of all, when Ben walks in on an intense meeting between Jules and her vice president, in which he communicates to her the need (and the desire of the VCs) to hire a veteran CEO for her company. Ben understands the weight of her circumstances. This allows him to become her confidant and trusted advisor. Upon Bens initiative, he becomes Jules driver, which gives him greater access and understanding of her personal life and how hard she works to satisfy both home and work spheres.
Another turning point in the plot and in the intern-boss relationship took place when the two of them had a casual adult conversation over pizza and beer, and then Ben entered the Facebook generation with Jules help in opening a Facebook account. Here the viewers can see two generations connect through common interests in music, family life, but also how members of the two generations are helping one another access the others generation. In conducting this interplay of relationship-building, Nancy Meyers is also shedding light on some of the (comical) stereotypes of each generation the briefcase that is now vintage, the handkerchief as a way to help a woman, from phonebooks to Google.
On rare occasion does one come across a movie that touches the hearts and minds of multiple generations while sending a profound message about intergenerational relationships. Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway have a wonderful chemistry with one another and with the characters they play; oftentimes it seemed they could be very well being themselves. I appreciate this movie for the warm laughs as well as for illustrating senior citizens as a useful and approachable population that should not be compartmentalized and set aside as tenants of nursing homes and recipients of Medicare, but rather be utilized as assets. The retired population of elderly folks are a mass of tremendous wisdom and experience. The Intern demonstrates how this group can serve as assets to the start-up generation. The films tagline, Experience never gets old, could not be more timely and appropriate as we see the Baby Boomer generation amass the senior citizen population and the youth searching for wisdom to help guide their paths.