Review: The Internship 0 Comments

Review: The Internship

The Internship has been mostly negatively received by critics. It has a measly rating of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. It has been referred to as ‘a two-hour commercial for Google’. And this brutal satirical claim by The Onion that the film will take the cake for ‘Biggest Comedy of 2005’, arguing that it appeals to audiences from almost a decade ago.

The film focuses on two hotshot sales representatives, Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) who make their living convincing retailers to stock designer watches. They are made redundant by the company because watches are becoming obsolete (in the film an elderly woman checks her iPhone for the time). Thinking about the progression of technology in today’s society, Billy lines up applications for them both at Google. The interns are split into groups of five, each led by a full-time Google employee. Throughout the course of the internship, the teams battle it out in various (outrageous) tasks, scored on a point-based system. At the end of the internship, the team with the most points wins and its members all get full-time jobs at Google.

The Internship has bombed. And why wouldn’t it? Vaughn and Wilson reunite as partners in crime (after 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers) for grown-up, watered-down shenanigans. Vaughn is typically Vaughn and Wilson is typically Wilson. There’s nothing ground-breaking there. The film also looks like a giant ad for Google, showing off its wares and out-of-the-box office culture – there are Google self-driving cars, Google nap pods, and Google propeller hats for the ‘Nooglers’ (that’s Google-speak for ‘interns’).

But it appeals hugely to those that it features: interns.

Older generations are often shocked to discover that so many of today’s young graduates work for free – willingly. Interns must be scarily familiar with this dialogue:
Nick: You got us a job at Google?
Billy: No, I got us an interview for an internship that could lead to a job.
Previously, internships seemed like a purely American thing, or a method of prepping people for vocational jobs like medicine. The word ‘internship’ wasn’t even in my vocabulary when I started uni.

At one point, the nerdily libidinous intern Neha (Tiya Sircar) points out to Billy and Nick the harsh reality that all young university graduates now face: the American Dream that they grew up with is, really, just a dream. It’s depressing, but it’s true. Every intern scrambling for their next step is thinking it, and it’s a breath of fresh air that a pop culture film is tapping into the intern psyche.

The film’s ending is a little trite, in that (spoiler alert – but you would’ve predicted this anyway) the team wins and gets jobs at Google. It’s a nice throwback to the uplifting spirit of films when the American Dream was still alive and well – it’s even complemented by the Flashdance theme song.

The unfortunate reality is that that doesn’t always happen. Internships don’t always lead to jobs, even though they might open doors for the interns that make the most of their period of unpaid work. But The Internship does inspire a little nugget of hope in intern viewers that, somehow, with hard work and a bit of ‘80s pop music, things will work out. BS though it may be, the film’s heart-warming denouement gives interns a little bit of encouragement to make an effort with the opportunity they’re given.  That’s the whole purpose of internships, after all.


By Michelle See-Tho.



Michelle See-Tho is the Voiceworks intern and the newest kid on the Editorial Committee block. She loves her internship, even if it doesn’t include a free propellor hat.

<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000"> <a href="">Click here to proceed</a>. </body>