Craig's Movie Breakdown: "The Internship"


Bringing the “Wedding Crashers” back together sounds like a fun idea though you gotta admit that since then, a lot has changed. Christmas seems to have ruined Vince Vaughn; “Fred Claus” and “Four Christmases” setting him toward bland PG-13 territory with stuff like “Couples Retreat” and “The Dilemma”. His one R-rated movie, “The Watch”, since “Wedding Crashers” was rightly poorly received. As for Owen Wilson, his career has either been leading roles in bombs like “Drillbit Taylor” and “How Do You Know”, voice work, and supporting roles. At least he did have Woody Allen’s ”Midnight in Paris” but what I’m saying is, the hits have been few and far between. Vaughn tries to change that here, writing with Jared Stern (writing “The Watch” already against him) and getting decent comedy director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum”, its sequel, and “Date Night”) to take the reins.


Vaughn and Wilson play traveling watch salesman Billy and Nicky, two guys who learn, from the client, that their company has closed. Realizing that they are dinosaurs ill-equipped for the hard- luck current job market, Billy has the great idea for the two of them to take a summer internship program at Google. Almost immediately they run into problems with the no-nonsense head boss (Aasif Mandvi, “The Daily Show”), an arrogant British intern (Max Minghella), and their own project team members.


A question popped into my head while watching “The Internship”- Why not just watch “Homer Goes to College” off my “Simpsons” box set? In all honesty it’s a better idea, as it has more laughs in its 20 minute run than “Internship” does in all 120 laborious minutes. This is Vince Vaughn in his “Dilemma” mode again, constantly flailing to get laughs but with hardly any material to back him up. You feel bad for Vaughn-the actor (also for sidekick Wilson), but it’s even harder to believe that Vaughn-the writer could have possibly put him in this situation. This is the worst thing to hit Google since Bing.

The joke here is that these guys know nothing. In one particularly unfunny scene, they do a Skype job interview at a local library cause it’s the only place they know of that has a computer camera. They don’t even know they can go out and buy their own camera. The jokes get even more desperate from there. By the time they are tricked into trying to find “Charles Xavier” and the subsequent Quidditch match that follows, it’s clear that these guys are poking fun at the nerdy segment of the population. It’s not that that’s an unfunny concept (I refer again to “Homer Goes to College”), but not only does it seem like these guys live under a rock but the only punchlines here are cheap slapstick.

Vaughn and Wilson are pros at rambling, fast-talk but here instead of material, it just sounds like they’re making up non-sensical gibberish on the spot and the effect is more embarrassing and mind-numbing to watch. Also they seem to reference hot topics of pop culture (Game of Thrones, Terminator) and much more obscure things without ever really coming up with a joke for it.

Even worse is the inspirational speech seminar (in which Vaughn usually references “Flashdance”) that seems to take up most the second half, where they mentor their misfit Google partners (a collection of anti-social, sexually-inexperienced, nerdy, and parentally-henpecked teenage loners) into a solid team by doing, what else?, taking them to a strip club and introducing them to the joys of alcohol and girls before giving them incessant “believe in yourself” speeches.

From the jokes that aren’t really jokes at all but rather merely references to fat little kids, Alzheimer’s, and manipulating old people to have sex, to a misogynistic view of a woman, in this case a love interest for Wilson played by Rose Byrne, who regrets focusing most of her time on her career the movie is also entirely off-putting. If there is one positive thing anyone could take from “The internship”, it would be that a “Wedding Crashers” sequel may not be too far away. After this these guys are gonna want to do anything in order to prove they can still be funny.