The Internship

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Billy McMahon (Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Wilson) seek employment after being laid off from their positions as watch salesmen when their employer goes out of business. Billy then applies for an internship at Google for the two of them, and 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, also known as “Nooglers”, 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 smart phone; Yo-Yo, an Asian-American boy who was homeschooled by a stereotypical overbearing Asian mother; and Neha, an Indian-American girl who is an enthusiast of nerd-related kink. The team is led by Lyle, who constantly tries to act hip in order to hide his insecurities. Another intern, Graham, aggressively bullies Billy and Nick’s team. Mr. 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. But later, during a game of Muggle Quidditch against Graham’s team, Billy rallies his team to a comeback that unifies them as a team despite ultimately losing.

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. And, 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 a fight breaks out; the team is ejected from the club. Before sunrise that same night, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Stuart learns to appreciate his surroundings, 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 takes a real 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 had not been seen to talk to anyone, 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 connect him with potential customers and how Internet resources can help him expand the business while remaining true to his professional values.

The team arrives during the final assembly just as the winners are to be announced; but the official rules allow them to present their results even at the last moment. The screen behind Chetty shows all the team members dancing with giant afros and Billy is throwing pizza at everyone. Chetty recognizes that although the pizzeria is not a large business, its potential is now limitless because it has embraced technology. Graham protests and is dressed down by Headphones, who turns out to be the head of Google Search. Nick, Billy, Stuart, Yo-Yo, and Neha are declared the winners and will receive jobs at Google, which the latter three will start after their senior years in college. 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, and Yo-Yo asserts himself to his mother.


In this economy, is it any surprise that people are losing their jobs and having to go back and learn new skills? It shouldn’t be. Someone got the masterful idea to take this notion and create a comedy, The Internship. I’m not so sure if this was a good or bad idea, when all is said and done, though.

What is this about?

Two out-of-work salesmen, lacking the digital-savvy skills they need to find jobs, sign on as interns at a high-tech company. While their new assignment may give them the training they need, it also means staying one step ahead of their ignorance.

What did I like?

Google. I don’t know if Google really is like they have it portrayed here, but if it is, I’m going to quit my job and become an intern out there…even though I know little to nothing about computers. Still, the film makes the place out to be this giant playland, of sorts, for computer geeks. Throw in the free food, places where you can actually take a nap during working hours, and free coffee (if you drink it), and that place could be heaven!

Culture gap. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s characters are a bit older than the rest of the interns. This is no more obvious that when it comes to various references that expose the culture gap between the generations, such as quoting the plot from Flashdance or various books/video games of today. Some of the funnier parts of the film are watching as these scenes unfold, especially the quest to find Professor X!

Quidditch. One of the things that I loved the most about the Harry Potter books and films was Quidditch. To this day, I still wonder if there was a way to actually create some sort of real version of the sport. Well, we finally got that, sort of, with a quick game amongst the intern teams. The way it was just as brutal as soccer and yet still a friendly game, until the golden snitch shows up. I’ll leave you to see what happens after that.

What didn’t I like?

Union Jack. How is it possible that someone who is actually British has an accent that sounds so fake? Seriously, I have to question this guy’s British-ness with that horrible accent. As a character, he wasn’t bad. He actually was a decent antagonist, even if all he did was give evil looks and sowed the seed of doubt in Vince Vaughn’s character. Still, that accent was not something I could get past.

Interns. I felt the interns were great, but would have liked to have learned more about them. This film is already too long, so I hesitate to say we needed some background on them, but I did feel that all of the time was spent on the group leader. Personally, I felt each of them had something to bring to the table and would have liked to have gotten more from Tiya Sircar’s character, who seems to have a fetish for nerdy stuff.

Formulaic. We’ve all seen these films where you can pretty much tell what is going to happen once it gets going, right? Well, this is another one of those. Pretty much from the minute these guys walk into Google, you can tell what is going to happen. Nothing can’t be predicted. Is it so wrong to want an original script these days? Is that too much to ask? If you must rehash this formula, then at least do it well and/or bring something new and fresh to the party.

Tired. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have been doing the same thing throughout their entire career. Wilson, who I already am not a fan of, plays the sensitive, soft-spoken guy who ends up with the hot chick. Vaughn plays the big, fast talking guy. In their teleconference interview, the two of them were so busy trying to outdo each other that I nearly turned the film off, for fear that I wouldn’t be able to take these two. If they must insist on the same shtick for the rest of their careers, then they need to do it separately, because together, while they have great chemistry, they hard to stomach.

The Internship is a film that has its moments, but not enough to make it worth your time. With that said, had this film been released at least a couple of years ago, it surely would have been a hit, but as it stands, it feels as it is dated, and not in a good, nostalgic way. Do I recommend this flick? I can’t say that I do, but it isn’t bad enough to totally avoid. I would say that if you must watch, wait a couple of years for it to show up on the basic cable stations and you’re sure to be able to watch it then.

2 3/4 out of 5 stars



2 Responses to “The Internship”

  1. To me, it seems like it may be time for both Vaughn and Wilson to give it up and try something new with their act. Or at least something that works and doesn’t feel recycled from the year 2005. Good review.

  2. Mystery Man Says:

    yeah, especially Vaughn. I may not like Wilson, but occasionally, he does branch out and do something different.

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