There's an unadulterated joy in the re-teaming of those fast-talking Wedding Crashers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, a wholesome novelty in their playing laid-off salesmen forced to do what millions of Americans have had to do in the past six years -- reinvent themselves.
We've missed the patter, the Red Bull-fuelled banter that was Vaughn's bread and butter before Jennifer Aniston and Fred Claus sucked away his soul. He came up with this zeitgeist tale of pals Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson), told they're over and done with when the watch company they worked for folds.
"Face it," the boss (John Goodman) mutters, "where you're going, you've already been."
They're starting over in their 40s. That means finding a job -- any job -- with "a future." No, taking a job with Nicky's sister's boorish boyfriend (Will Ferrell, hilarious) at his mattress store isn't it. To Billy it means landing internships at global tech monolith Google, which has its corporate image polished in this summer feel-good comedy.
Because feeling good is what results when fast-talking Billy and charming-womanizing Nick land as "diversity hires" in Google's best-and-brightest-and-youngest internship program. The boss (amusingly droll Aasif Mandvi) is skeptical. The pretty 30-something workaholic exec (Rose Byrne) is resistant to their charms.
Their skills, they're told, "aren't relevant in this millennium."
On a campus where Star Wars and Harry Potter are the appropriate cultural touchstones, Billy's inclined to give old-school pep talks about "that little steel-town girl, Ally" (Flashdance) and reassure a troubled colleague, "I'm your Bill Holden in Stalag 17."
"I don't get that reference."
The Internship is entirely too long. The misfits that the lads team up with are a United Colours of Nerd. The well-worn story arc has contests (computer code-bugging and app-inventing, and Quidditch) to see whose team will be offered jobs at the end of the internship, and team-building exercises that include a strip-club jaunt and assorted young-on-old practical jokes.
But Max Minghella makes a fine, arrogant Brit intern-nemesis. Tiya Sircar and Josh Brener stand out as fellow outliers in the Googleverse.
And interns Wilson and Vaughn swap lines like veteran jazz musicians who still have a sense of play about them, an endless supply of nicknames, high-and-low fives, dated slang and goodwill -- theirs for each other, and ours for them.
--McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson may be the worst interns since Monica Lewinsky.
-- Claudia Puig, USA Today
These two may be woefully inept at technology -- or at least, their characters in the film are. But chemistry? That Vaughn and Wilson have down.
-- Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
It's a one-liner forged into a two-hour joke.
-- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
Where Wedding Crashers was naughty yet sweet, Internship is pseudo-edgy and safe. It's like watching two aging frat brothers convince themselves they haven't lost a step.
-- Tim Grierson, Deadspin
A too-long, one-note affair, predictably following the patterns of any fish-out-of-water comedy you can think of.
-- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic