“The Intern” – a study of human beings in their raw habit – a movie review by Gary S. Smolker


There is something wrong with you if you don’t cry while you are watching this movie.

On the surface it is a story about a hard driving young career driven woman, a  CEO/founder of an on-line clothing design company (played by Ann Hathaway), who is “forced” to have an intern (played by Robert De Niro).

But there are deeper layers to this story.

  • The benefits of having a personal assistant
  • The impact of living a hard driving exhausting life on your own life and on your relationships with your family and others
  • Why stay-at-home spouses have affairs
  • Issues that arise when the venture capital investors become fearful that you will not be capable of running the giant company that you have started because it is growing so big and very fast
  • The boring life of a retired widower
  • The sex life and dating life of people over 60 years old
  • The fear of being alone and single when you die

The Hard Driving Life of A Striver

Jules Ostin (played by Anne Hathaway) started a company in her kitchen that was successful that grew by leaps and bounds.

The story in this movie begins a few years later when that company – under her leadership and due to her personal attention – has grown to have hundreds of employees.

Jules works non-stop at her company until she drops, without any breaks.

She loves her company, she loves what her company’s products and how her company’s product are produced and marketed.

Jules puts her heart and soul into her work.

When Jules comes home Jules either falls asleep or does more work Jules took home.

Jules’ stay-at-home-husband is staying at home to raise their preschool daughter.

He gave up a successful career to give Jules the opportunity to make her company flourish.

He is at home instead of at an office pursing his own career.

Jules’ husband is home by himself and their young daughter with little or no help from Jules and gets no sex and no companionship from Jules.

Jules is either too tired to have sex with husband after Jules comes home or Jules is too preoccupied doing work related to her company to show any interest in sex or in her husband.

Jules husband rightfully feels that Jules is indifferent to him.

Jules is too exhausted from “putting out” fires at work to be a wife.

But, he is wrong.  Jules cares about him very much.  She loves him with all her heart.

The Senior Intern

Ben Whittaker (played by Robert De Niro) is a 70 year old widower, who had a successful 40 year marriage and is now a retired successful business owner who ran his own large company in many executive positions.

Ben is getting no satisfaction from retired life.

Ben has traveled the world.

Ben spends his time playing golf and doing  Chi Tia with a lot of other people in a local park.  Ben is bored.

Senior Intern Meets Hard-Driving Young-Female Career-Driven CEO

One day, as Ben is leaving a local neighborhood grocery store holding a bag of grocery in one hand, Ben sees a help-wanted flyer posted on the wall of the store that catches his attention.

The posted flyer is from an on-line fashion company seeking a senior intern.

Job applicants are advised to submit/upload a video resume on YouTube.

Ben has no idea how to operate a smart phone or any electronic device.

Ben doesn’t know how to start (or, even how to turn on) a computer.

Ben doesn’t know what YouTube is or what it means to “upload” something.

Ben’s son or one of Ben’s grandchildren takes care of making a video of Ben and uploading it.

Ben is invited to an interview.

At the interview, seventy year old Ben is interviewed by people in their twenties and/or in their thirties.

They realize the question What do you envision yourself doing in ten years? is inappropriate.

Ben is hired.

Ben is assigned to be Jules’ intern.

Jules is horrified.

Jules didn’t find out her company had hired a senior intern until  Ben was assigned to her.

Jules doesn’t want the senior intern to be assigned to her.

Jules is a “control freak.”

Meeting Ben turns out to be an experience beyond Jules’ control.

Jules is about to find herself trying something she has none done before and to experience things she has never experienced or thought of or imaged before.


The Benefits of Having A Personal Assistant

Jules learns that Ben knows many valuable things that Jules does not know.

Ben is an energetic self-starting sophisticated and grounded individual.

Ben takes the initiative to fix anything Ben sees that needs fixing.

Ben takes the initiative to do anything he thinks ought to be done.

Everything Ben does is done in a pleasant way hat is helpful and offends no-one

Everyone at Jules’ company comes to love Ben.

Ben has experience.

Ben is 70 years old.

Ben was actively involved in the business world for more than 50 years before he retired.

Ben has a perspective that Jules doesn’t have.

After a while, Jules realizes Ben is the most “mature”, “grounded”, well-informed person she knows.

He is discrete, is old school and always has a hankie in the top pocket of a coat which he wears each day.

In one scene, Ben tells a co-worker that men carry hankies to give to women when they cry.

During the film the co-worker uses Ben’s hankie for that purpose, as does Ben.

The Benefit of Having A Personal Assistant Part Two

I can tell you from personal experience that having the right personal assistant will make a world of difference in your life.

The Stay At Home Husband

In order to have female companionship, Jules’ stay-at-home-husband has an affair with one of the women he sees everyday at their children’s “mommy and me” class.

It is clear that Jules has made her husband become a sex starved lonely male. by putting all her time and energy, and by channeling all her interests and attention into her company.


Jules is aware that her husband is having an affair.

Fear and Loathing

Jules is afraid that they will get divorced, that her husband will take their daughter, and that she will be single for the rest of her life and die alone.

Nervous Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists are afraid that something bad will happen because Jules’ is an inexperienced housewife running a very successful fast company.

Venture capitalist investors put pressure on Jules to hire an experienced businessman to run Jules’ company, to be the CEO of Jules’ company.

Jules considers whether stepping aside will give her more time with her husband and more energy when she is with her husband and that would save her marriage.

Jules totally loves her husband.

Jules’ Noble Husband

When Jules’ husband finds out Jules is considering letting someone else be in charge of running her company, Jules’ husband tells her not to give up running her company.

He tells Jules that she loves her company, it is Jules’ creation and Jules needs to run it.

He also tells Jules he is ashamed of himself and he totally supports Jules.

If you don’t cry while you are watching this movie there is something wrong with you.

The Sex Life of People Over Seventy

Seventy year old widower Ben meets a charming mature divorcee at work.

Their first date is at a funeral.

They had set a date to have their first date before the need to go to the funeral came up.

After the funeral, this mature and charming woman tells Ben: You are the first man I’ve met since I’ve been divorced who I’ve wanted to hang-out with.

Nancy Meyers

Nancy Meyers is the writer-director of this film.

She handles explosive hot-button relationship issues with good taste and charm, including the issue of creating limits for yourself.

In this movie, Nancy Meyers shows

  • We all live within our rules.
  • The people you meet change you.
  • There is a reason you are the way you are.
  • There are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of cool things one can do.

That is what this entire film is about.

Stating the Obvious

This movie is about the ascendancy of women in the workplace.

We are in the midst of a gigantic cultural shift, the shift to recognizing the potential greatness of women.

I think of this movie as a scientific document, a study of human beings in their raw habitats.

Copyright © 2015 by Gary Smolker, All Rights Reserves



About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on October 3, 2015, in the people you meet change you, working in a start-up and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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