Vince Vaughn? Check. Owen Wilson? Check. Playing two slackers who don’t have successful relationships? Check. Will Ferrell playing a character with absolutely no redeeming qualities at all (in an uncredited cameo)? Check. No, not the sequel to the brilliant Wedding Crashers, but instead we have The Internship. How do they differ? The new release has much less raunchiness and isn’t about all about getting laid.
Vaughn is “Billy McMahon” and Wilson is “Nick Campbell”. They’re salesmen who have few other skills and find themselves suddenly unemployed. As their lives crumble around them Billy has the bright idea of the duo trying to land internships at Google. He was very impressed with what the Google campus looked like. The fact they have no skills in computer science was a mere detail he could easily bullshit his way through.
They get the internship and find themselves somewhere that may well surpass Disneyland in wonders and delights. Aasif Mandvi is “Mr. Chetty”, the Director of the Intern Program and he seems to be convinced Billy and Nick don’t belong there. They wind up teamed with team leader “Lyle” (Brener) and the others who weren’t picked to be on a team. They are “Stuart” (O’Brien), “Neeha” (Sircar) and Yo-Yo (Raphael). It’s also clear that their closest competition is the team being led by “Graham” (Minghella) who would crawl beneath a pregnant insect to gain an advantage in the competition.
For the internship is just that, a competition. The team that wins will be the only ones guaranteed to be offered employment. Billy and Nick seem to be a drag on their team, who are actually brilliant, but lacking confidence. It’s easy to see they will become the team’s leaders and mentors but both the old folks and the youngsters are going to learn from one another.
As is often the case with comedies in this era, most of the best laughs were shown off in the trailer. At least they were paid off and not left on the cutting room floor, something audiences always seem to find extremely disappointing. There are also a few surprises along the way, one of the best being who that guy in the headphones who almost never speaks actually is (in the film, not in real life).
This is a film that could not have been made without the cooperation of Google. Does that mean that the criticisms of the film as not painting an accurate picture of what life for interns at Google is really like, are valid? It doesn’t matter. No disclaimers accompanying the film say anything about “based on a true story” or anything else even remotely in that area. It’s a fictional film made to induce laughs, not show the underbelly of a corporation. You want a documentary, go see one. This is for laughs and while there could have been more, there were enough for me.