Director Nancy Meyer has enjoyed enormous commercial success with her distinctive brand of female-led comedy. In 2000, her film What Women Want became the most successful ever to be directed by a woman. Since then the likes of The Holiday (2006) have enjoyed box-office success – and her films have even garnered some critical nods, with It’s Complicated gaining two Golden Globe nominations in 2009.
Now Meyer's newest film, The Intern, attempts to reverse the formula of another Hathaway-led vehicle The Devil Wears Prada as de Niro finds himself cast as naïve intern to Anne Hathaway’s commanding alpha woman boss.
The plot of The Intern is intriguing. Robert de Niro plays Ben Whittaker, a retiree who, bored of tai chi classes, wants to reinvent himself as an intern at a fictional fashion e-tailer. Anne Hathaway plays his uncompromising boss, Jules Ostin, who struggles to balance the demands of her glamorous career with that of her marital life and motherly duties.
What most criticism for the The Intern has suggested is that the film subtly conveys conservative ideas about womanhood – despite its modern, Brooklynite guise, and surface message about equality in the workplace. Ultimately, the moral here seems to be that behind every inspiring and impressive woman is an older, but undeniably bankable, male star.
Perhaps more newsworthy than the plot is the response of Meyer’s cast to recent media interviews. During a tense interview with the Radio Times’s Emma Brocke, Robert de Niro is rumoured to have stormed out, accusing his female interviewee of “negative inference”. Readers may struggle to recognise quite why Brocke’s reference to the gentrification of the Tribeca district got de Niro so riled up, although her question about whether the actor ‘was on autopilot’ during filming may have hit a nerve for the hot-headed method actor.
Whilst her latest film doesn't seem to be reinventing the chick-flick genre, Meyers can probably rely on the charisma and star power of her two lead actors to continue to draw box-office crowds.
|What||New Robert de Niro film The Intern, 2015|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
02 Oct 15 – 07 Nov 15, Various times
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to The Intern IMDB page|