The Intern (2015 film)

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The Intern
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNancy Meyers
Written byNancy Meyers
Produced by
  • Nancy Meyers
  • Suzanne Farwell
CinematographyStephen Goldblatt
Edited byRobert Leighton
Music byTheodore Shapiro
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • September 25, 2015 (2015-09-25)
Running time
121 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$35 million[1][2]
Box office$194.6 million[1]

The Intern is a 2015 American buddy comedy-drama film directed, written, and produced by Nancy Meyers. The film stars Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo, with supporting performances from Anders Holm, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, and Zack Pearlman. The plot follows a 70-year-old widower who becomes a senior intern at a fashion website, where he forms an unlikely friendship with the company's workaholic CEO.

The film was released on September 25, 2015, by Warner Bros. It received mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success, grossing $195 million worldwide against a $35 million production budget.


70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker, a retired executive from DEX One, considers retirement too boring. He applies to fill the newly conceived position of senior intern at About The Fit, a fast-growing e-commerce fashion startup in Brooklyn.

Ben impresses everyone and is one of five senior interns hired. He is assigned to work with CEO Jules Ostin, who is somewhat skeptical at first and ignores him. However, Ben wins over his co-workers with his congeniality and his helpful advice on life and work.

One morning, Ben organizes a messy desk Jules complained about, winning her good graces. After work, he notices Jules's chauffeur drinking, persuades him to leave and drives Jules home himself, a role he will continue to fill in days to come.

But on their first drive together Ben asks Jules several personal questions, and she asks her VP, Cameron, to reassign him. However, that evening they bond when Jules finds out that he worked for almost 40 years in the same building which About The Fit now occupies. The next morning Jules learns that Cameron had replaced Ben as driver with Doris. A horrible driver, she almost crashes. Jules apologizes and begs Ben to come back, and he does.

Jules starts assigning him work, and he is able to help lighten her workload. Ben also starts a relationship with About The Fit's in-house masseuse, Fiona. When Jules accidentally sends a scathing email about her mom to her mom, Ben volunteers to take some coworkers to break into her mother's house to delete it from her computer. They narrowly avoid getting caught by the police in the process.

Ben also gets to know Jules' family. Her husband, Matt, gave up his own career to be a stay-at-home dad to their daughter, Paige, when About The Fit started to take off. However, the marriage is slowly breaking apart as the couple grows more distant. When driving Paige home from a party, Ben discovers that Matt is having an affair.

Meanwhile, Jules is under pressure to give up her post as CEO to someone outside of the company, as her investors fear she is unable to cope with the unanticipatedly high workload. Believing it will give her more time at home with her family, Jules is willing to consider the proposal.

She asks Ben to accompany her on a business trip to San Francisco to interview a potential CEO candidate. While there Jules reveals that she knows about Matt's cheating, but has not confronted him about it because she was not ready to deal with it.

To buy herself time to save her marriage, Jules decides to hire the prospective CEO but Ben greatly encourages her to think about how much effort and passion she has used to build About The Fit. Matt unexpectedly drops in at the office and urges her to reconsider, saying that he is sorry and ashamed, and wants to support her in her dreams.

Jules goes out looking for Ben, wanting to tell him that she has changed her mind, and finds him enjoying his tai chi exercise group. She finally lets herself relax and joins him in practicing tai chi, an act symbolic of her finding balance in her life.



Development and casting[edit]

Originally set up at Paramount Pictures, The Intern was planned to feature Tina Fey and Michael Caine in the lead roles.[3] Handed over to Warner Bros., Fey was replaced by Reese Witherspoon as the attached star, though Witherspoon left the film on January 15, 2014, due to scheduling conflicts.[4] On February 7, 2014, Anne Hathaway was in final talks to replace Witherspoon in the lead role.[5] Stephen Goldblatt was set as director of photography.[6] On June 23, 2014, Zack Pearlman joined the cast of the film.[7]


Principal photography began on June 23, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York City,[8] where De Niro was spotted on the set of the film.[9] On October 2, 2014, director Nancy Meyers announced that filming was completed.[10]


Box office[edit]

The Intern grossed $75.7 million in North America and $118.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $194.6 million, against a net production budget of $35 million.[1] The film opened alongside Hotel Transylvania 2 and was projected to gross $15–20 million in its opening weekend.[11] It grossed $17.7 million, finishing second at the box office behind Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48.5 million).[11]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 59% of 202 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.7/10. The website's consensus reads: "The Intern doesn't do enough with its timely premise, but benefits from the unorthodox chemistry of its talented leads."[12] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 51 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[13]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three and a half out of four stars, stating, "With some genuinely insightful dialogue, a number of truly funny bits of physical business, and small scenes allowing us to get to know and like a half-dozen supporting players,"[14]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote that the film was similar to Meyers's other works, stating that it was "frothy, playful, homogeneous, routinely maddening and generally pretty irresistible." Despite criticizing Meyers's screenplay and "conflicted ideas about powerful women," Dargis praised the casting of De Niro, stating he "owns the movie from the moment he opens his mouth." Hathaway's role was derided as "less of a character and more of a fast-walking, speed-talking collection of gender grievances."[15]

Clem Bastow, writing for The Guardian, suggested that poor reviews for the film were primarily coming from men, who form the overwhelming majority of film critics.[16] Bastow further suggested that female critics would "feel the need to go hard on certain films for women" such as The Intern.[17]

Director Quentin Tarantino viewed the film as Oscar-worthy, stating:

It does seem to be to some degree there's a boom or bust aspect when it comes to Hollywood when it comes to female directors. There becomes an era when there's a lot working then that settles down and there's a dry period—but frankly, maybe I'm just talking shit because the thing is there are female directors. Maybe they're not being the ones that are being asked to be on The Hollywood Reporter roundtable. One of my favorite movies this last year was Nancy Meyers' The Intern. They're not considering that for the Oscars even though I think Robert De Niro gave one of the best performances this year in that movie. I thought the script was actually one of her best. Right up there with It's Complicated. They're not asking her to be part of the discussion.[18]


Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref.
2016 AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Best Comedy The Intern Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor in a Comedy Robert De Niro Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actor in a Comedy Robert De Niro Nominated [19]
Casting Society of America Casting - Big Budget Feature - Comedy The Intern Nominated [20]
Jupiter Award, Germany Best International Actor Robert De Niro Nominated
Best International Actress Anne Hathaway Nominated
Max Movie Awards, South Korea Best Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Comedy Nancy Meyers Nominated [21]
Choice Movie Actress: Comedy Anne Hathaway Nominated


Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone announced on January 27, 2020, that she will produce the Hindi remake of The Intern, also playing the female lead role, but the remake's production was postponed mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[22] Rishi Kapoor was initially cast as the male lead, but after his sudden death in April 2020 due to leukemia, he was replaced by Amitabh Bachchan in March 2021. Principal photography began in November 2021.[23]

On July 5, 2022, the first episode of the Japanese television remake of The Intern,[24] called Unicorn ni Notte or Riding a Unicorn, released its first episode with Hidetoshi Nishijima in the De Niro role and Mei Nagano in the Hathaway role.[25]


  1. ^ a b c "The Intern (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  2. ^ FilmL.A. (June 15, 2016). "2015 Feature Film Study" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 13, 2012). "Paramount Lands Nancy Meyers-Tina Fey Comedy 'The Intern'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 15, 2014). "Reese Witherspoon No Longer Attached to Nancy Meyers' 'The Intern'". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  5. ^ "Anne Hathaway in Talks to Replace Reese Witherspoon in The Intern". The Hollywood Reporter. February 7, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  6. ^ McCue, Michelle (June 23, 2014). "Nancy Meyers' THE INTERN Begins Filming – Stars Anne Hathaway And Robert De Niro". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (June 23, 2014). "'Mulaney' Actor Joins Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro in 'The Intern'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "First filming location for 'The Intern', starring Anne Hathaway & Robert De Niro, in Brooklyn!". June 16, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Christine (June 24, 2014). "Photos of Robert De Niro filming 'The Intern' in Brooklyn". Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  10. ^ @nmeyers (October 2, 2014). "The DeNiro Hero. Our last day of shooting and he is my hero! #theintern" – via Instagram.
  11. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro (September 28, 2015). "'Hotel Transylvania 2' At $48.5M Marks Record Opening For Adam Sandler; 'Intern' Slacks on Sunday – Monday Postmortem". Deadline Hollywood. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Intern". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 20, 2024. Edit this at Wikidata
  13. ^ "The Intern". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc.
  14. ^ Roeper, Richard (September 24, 2015). "'The Intern': Director, stars bring right skill set to office comedy". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  15. ^ Dargis, Manohla (September 24, 2015). "Review: In 'The Intern,' She's the Boss, but He's the Star". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Bastow, Clem (September 30, 2015). "The Intern has been panned by film critics. Why am I not surprised?". The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  17. ^ Adams, Thelma (December 29, 2015). "The Curious Case of the Missing Women in Film Criticism". Variety. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  18. ^ Giroux, Jack (January 25, 2016). "Quentin Tarantino Raves About 'The Intern,' Talks Hollywood Diversity". Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  19. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Deadline Hollywood. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  20. ^ "The Intern - IMDb". IMDb.
  21. ^ Vulpo, Mike (May 24, 2016). "Teen Choice Awards 2016 Nominations Announced: See the "First Wave" of Potential Winners". E!. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "'The Intern': Deepika Padukone and Rishi Kapoor to come together for Indian remake of the Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro starrer - Times of India". The Times of India.
  23. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan to replace late Rishi Kapoor in The Intern remake, Deepika Padukone announces. See first poster". Hindustan Times. April 5, 2021.
  24. ^ Matsumoto, Elizabeth (July 12, 2022). "西島秀俊演じる「小鳥さん」がブームに? 「アラフィフ男性はお手本に」と芸能ライター(日刊ゲンダイDIGITAL" ["Kotori-san", played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, is booming | "50-something men are role models"]. Yahoo! Japan News (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 12, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  25. ^ "『ユニコーンに乗って』第1話あらすじ 永野芽郁×西島秀俊×杉野遥亮"大人の青春物語"が始まる" [“Riding a Unicorn” Episode 1 Synopsis Mei Nagano, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yosuke Sugino “Adult Youth Story” begins]. Oricon News (in Japanese). July 5, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.

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