People are never perfect, and that includes director Nancy Meyers ( The Parent Trap, The Holiday), whose latest offering, The Intern, comes off as bland and shallow.
Ben (Robert De Niro) has had decades of experience working at a telephone-directory manufacturer, and when he joins a senior internship programme at a booming online fashion store, he's able to solve every problem and befriends everyone by offering them wise, fail-proof advice.
He's fun enough to break into a house, and charming enough to attract women 10 years his junior. But Ben's perfect character dismisses the difficulties an older person may face in a younger workplace, and limits De Niro's acting.
Jules (Anne Hathaway), a career woman torn by a failing marriage, is slightly more realistic. Her character highlights the struggle of pursuing your career without selfishly neglecting your family to achieve your personal goals. There are also responsibilities that everyone - male and female alike - should take up, which are just ignored in the film. For example, Jules' marriage suddenly fixes itself and completely overlooks the effort needed on both sides to achieve work-family balance.
For a comedy, The Intern lacks sharp dialogue, and the funniest scene does little to contribute to the main storyline. Definitely not Meyers at her best.