The Internship

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The Internship
Theatrical release poster
Directed byShawn Levy
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Vince Vaughn
  • Jared Stern
Story byVince Vaughn
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyJonathan Brown
Edited byDean Zimmerman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 7, 2013 (2013-06-07)
Running time
119 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$58 million[2]
Box office$93.5 million[2]

The Internship is a 2013 American comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern, and produced by Vaughn and Levy. The film stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as recently laid-off salesmen who attempt to compete with much younger and more technically skilled applicants for a job at Google. Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Brener, Dylan O'Brien, Tobit Raphael, Tiya Sircar, Josh Gad, and Jessica Szohr also star.

The Internship is the second film with Vaughn and Wilson in the lead roles, after the 2005 film Wedding Crashers; the two had also both appeared in the 2004 film Starsky & Hutch. This is also the second collaboration of Levy, Vaughn, and Stern after the 2012 film The Watch, and the third of Levy and Wilson after the first two Night at the Museum films.

Released on June 7, 2013, the film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $93 million worldwide.


Salesmen Billy McMahon (Vince Vaughn) and Nick Campbell's (Owen Wilson) employer goes out of business, and Billy applies for Google internships on their behalf. They are accepted due to their unorthodox interview answers, despite a lack of relevant experience. They are the only interns not of traditional collegiate age. They will spend the summer competing in teams against other interns in a variety of tasks, and only the members of the winning team will be guaranteed jobs with Google. Billy and Nick are teamed with other interns seen as rejects: Stuart, who is usually engrossed in his smartphone; Yo-Yo, who was home-schooled by his tiger mother; and Neha, an enthusiast of nerd-related kink. The team leader Lyle constantly tries to act hip to hide his insecurities. Another intern, Graham, bullies Billy and Nick's team. Roger Chetty, the head of the internship program, also expresses his doubts about the older men's abilities. Stuart, Yo-Yo, and Neha see Billy and Nick as useless during a task focused on debugging and send them on a wild-goose chase for the fictional Charles Xavier at Stanford University. But later, during a game of quidditch against Graham's team, Billy rallies his team to a comeback that unifies them as a team, despite ultimately losing after Graham cheats.

When the teams are tasked with developing an app, Billy and Nick convince the team to indulge in a wild night out. At a strip club, Neha admits to Billy that, despite her rich fantasy life, she has no real world experience and is nervous. With his support, she decides to stay. Nick gets Yo-Yo to break out of his shell by drinking and receiving lap dances. Encouraged by Billy, Lyle approaches one of the dancers, Marielena, who is also a dance instructor at Google on whom he had developed a crush. She is charmed by him, but another customer challenges Lyle for her attention and they fight, getting the team kicked out. Before sunrise, Stuart learns to appreciate his surroundings while overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, and Lyle's drunken antics inspire the team to create an app that guards against reckless phone usage while drunk. They win the task by earning the most downloads.

Meanwhile, Nick has been flirting with an executive, Dana, with little success. When he begins attending technical presentations to impress her, he develops an interest in the material. While the teams prepare to staff the technical support hotline, only Billy feels at a loss. A Google employee, "Headphones," who always wears headphones and never socializes, approaches Billy and tells him that the way he interacts with people is special. He tutors Billy on the technical information. Dana agrees to go on a date with Nick, and she invites him in at the end of the evening. During the task, Billy is comfortable with the material, but his team receives no score because he failed to properly log his calls for review. Dejected, Billy leaves Google to pursue a new sales opportunity with his former boss. The final task is announced as a sales challenge. Teams must sign the largest possible company to begin advertising with Google. The team is stunned when Nick tells them that Billy has left, and they declare that they do not want to do the task without him. Nick convinces Billy to return, and Billy leads the team to show a local pizzeria owner how Google can help him interact with potential customers and thereby expand his business, while remaining true to his professional values.

Chetty is about to announce that Graham's team have won, when Billy, Nick, and their team arrive to give a dynamic presentation about their new client. Chetty recognizes that although the pizzeria is not a large business, its potential is limitless because it is expanding via technology. Graham protests and is dressed down by Headphones, who turns out to be the head of Google Search. Nick and Billy's team win the challenge and the guaranteed jobs. Graham berates his team, who finally reject him. As the students depart, Nick and Dana are still seeing each other, as are Lyle and Marielena. Stuart and Neha have formed a romantic connection as well with Stuart promising to see her in person rather than texting her, and Yo-Yo asserts himself to his mother. Billy and Nick toast their success.



Most of the scenes were filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which posed as a double for the Googleplex, since the company normally does not allow filming on the actual Googleplex for security and productivity reasons.[4] Vaughn came up with the idea after watching a 60 Minutes segment on Google's work culture, and subsequently brought the idea to director Shawn Levy.[5] Google agreed to work with the film producers, with founder Larry Page noting that "computer science has a marketing problem."[6] Google also felt it would help further explain their "Don't be evil" mantra.[6] Although Reuters reported that as part of the deal Google asked for "creative control", Levy denied the company was involved with the script, insisting that Google only assisted from a "technical" perspective.[5] CNN reported that the studio did give "some control" to Google over the depiction of its products.[6]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 35% based on 170 reviews and an average rating of 5.00/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Internship weighs down Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's comic charisma with a formulaic script and padded running time that leans far too heavily on its stars' easygoing interplay."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 42 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[9]

A majority of the reviewers have derided it for being a feature-length Google commercial. In his review, Ty Burr of The Boston Globe commented: "Here’s why Google is so successful: It's figured out a way for Twentieth Century Fox to make a two-hour Google commercial disguised as a summer comedy".[10] Stephen Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote on his review, "The Internship itself would be kind of charming, too, if this Google-recruitment film, this 119-minute commercial for Googliness, weren't so downright creepy".[11] The Guardian's David Cox described the movie as a "two-hour corporate video,"[12] while British film critic Mark Kermode called the film "the longest advert I've seen in the cinema". He dismissed it as "one of the most witless, humourless, vomit-inducing horribly self-satisfied, smug, unfunny comedies I have ever seen".[13]

Another critique was that combining Vaughn and Wilson with Google was poorly timed, and that the film would have been much more successful, had it been released on the heels of Vaughn and Wilson's success in 2005's Wedding Crashers. This fact of timing was satirized by a video news story run by The Onion, a satirical newspaper, titled "The Internship Poised to be Biggest Comedy of 2005".[14]

Many former Google interns and Google employees noted the accuracy of the company environment depicted in the movie, but also pointed out that the internship process is nothing like that shown in the movie.[15]

Home media[edit]

The Internship was released in "Unrated" form on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack on October 22, 2013.[16] This edition runs 125 minutes and contains profanity and nudity not found in the theatrical release.


  1. ^ "THE INTERNSHIP (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. May 10, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2013.[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "The Internship". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "JoAnna Garcia Swisher in Shawn Levy's Internship". June 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "Georgia Tech Selected as a Location for "The Internship"". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Ronald, Grover; ALEXI, ORESKOVIC. "Google goes Hollywood with 'The Internship'". Reuters. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Kelly, Heather. "Why Google loves 'The Internship'". CNN. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "The Internship". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on August 5, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Internship". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  9. ^ "CinemaScore".
  10. ^ Burr, Ty (June 5, 2013). "Vaughn and Wilson Are Silicon Valley Crashers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  11. ^ Rea, Stephen (June 7, 2013). "Buddy Film Wrapped in a Google Ad". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  12. ^ Cox, David (July 1, 2013). "The Internship: how cinema sold its soul – but didn't get paid". The Guardian (UK). Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  13. ^ "Mark Kermode reviews The Internship" on YouTube, The Guardian (UK), 1 July 2013.
  14. ^ "'The Internship' Poised To Be Biggest Comedy Of 2005", The Onion, 6 June 2013.
  15. ^ Anthony, Brian (June 9, 2013). "Real Google Interns: 'The Internship' Movie Kind of Nails It". Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  16. ^ Davis, Clayton (August 21, 2013). ""The Internship" Comes Home on the Hilarious Unrated Edition Blu-ray October 22!". Awards Circuit. Retrieved October 24, 2013.

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