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“The Intern” by Nancy Meyers


The importance of employment, a desire to work, a threat of retirement, the development of professional qualities, and interpersonal relationships are the issues that bother millions of modern people. To share their opinions and visions, movie directors find it interesting and necessary to discuss these themes in their works. In 2015, Nancy Meyers introduced The Intern, a comedy, starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. The uniqueness of this film is an excellent possibility to explain the importance of work-life balance and generation differences that many people like to neglect. There are many reasons for watching and analyzing The Intern, and this paper aims at comparing the depiction and reality of employment and organizational culture in American society.

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Main Issues

In The Intern, it is hard to choose just several issues that are properly addressed there, either directly or indirectly. On the one hand, it is clear that the director’s intention is to explain human feelings and experiences during the retirement phase. The main character is a 70-year-old widower who knows that “there is a hole in my life, and I need to fill it… soon” (The Intern). Unintentionally, this movie shows how senseless the intentions of all those people who dream of working hard and providing themselves with successful retirement conditions could be. Among other indirect aspects like the life of seniors, loneliness, and personal growth, Meyers perfectly raises such topics as job search, leadership, and the exchange of experiences. At the same time, she also focuses on the presence of gender inequalities in business affairs. One of the most provocative goals of this film is to keep to work-life balance and never consider age as a challenge or shortage. The desire to be a part of something, keep moving, and live, no matter what direction is chosen.

Depiction vs. Reality

Someone may think that the depiction of The Intern differs from reality. As a rule, people who have been working hard all their lives want to take some rest after their 70s. Every individual is unique, and this movie aligns with reality where older adults never want to give up, still, understanding that young people are in need of job opportunities and education. As well as another main character of the movie, Jules Ostin, many young entrepreneurs are eager to start a business and develop success. However, the reality is harsh to all people, and women’s challenges are not an exception. Therefore, the movie teaches to “feel nothing but great about what you’ve done, and I’d hate to see you let anyone take that away from you” (The Intern). Although it seems that the director wants to criticize reality, where a woman has to choose between her job and family or leadership and delegation, this film supports the idea of work-life balance that usually depends on people around.

Ambiguities and Alternative Interpretations

One of the most favorable features of this movie is the lack of evident ambiguities. Although some young spectators could say that their interests are usually more diversified compared to those young men who could easily register on Facebook, but know nothing about the importance of an extra handkerchief in their pocket. After watching the movie, no other alternative interpretations could be offered because Meyers did the best in her attempt to disclose employer-employee relationships, family issues, and business picks. Ostin realizes that regarding her past achievements, she could do more either in her family or in her company. All she needs at the moment is peace, which makes her join Ben and relax.


In general, it is possible to talk about a variety of topics that are properly mentioned in The Intern, either intentionally or incidentally. Meyers did a great work that could motivate a young entrepreneur, a non-confident admirer, or an older adult who has just lost a beloved person. This movie is a story about generations and how people should change not to become successful or rich but happy and fulfilled in life.

Work Cited

The Intern. Directed by Nancy Meyers, performance by Robert De Niro and Ann Hathaway, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2015.

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