Comedy Help Wanted

The Internship

by Hope Madden

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson try to prove they’re not comic dinosaurs by playing a couple of guys trying to prove they’re not unemployable dinosaurs. Yes, comedy has changed since the two wrought wedding reception mayhem in 2005’s Wedding Crashers. Vaughn and Wilson have not.

The buddies again play buddies, a top notch selling duo pushing high end watches until their company closes because wristwatches are obsolete, what with cell phones to check for the time. Wilson’s Nick takes a humiliating gig working for a weirdo mattress salesman (Will Farrell. Mom! The Meatloaf!), but BFF Billy has bigger plans: an internship with Google.

Fish out of water comedy allows the twosome to acquire some new skills while reassuring a middle aged audience that kids today still have a little something to learn. Tired gags about SciFi nerdery and lacking social skills mix with formula clichés about underdog competition, all of it brought somewhat pleasantly to life by two actors with a warm, comfortable chemistry.

They could each use a hit, as their output has been less than stellar in the last 8 years. From Vaughn we’ve seen The Dilemma, The Watch, Fred Claus, Couples’ Retreat – that’s a whole lot of stink right there. Wilson’s not smelling much better, but for every Drillbit Taylor there’s a Midnight in Paris, for every Marley & Me there’s a Fantastic Mr. Fox, so he’s at least splitting the difference.

The Internship is far too safe and uninspired a film to compete with raucous comedies like next week’s This Is the End, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise from a film that begs us to appreciate a couple of geezers for their big hearted friendliness, regardless of the fact that they don’t have the skills required to make it in their chosen industry.




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