The Internship

Vince Vaughn Owen Wilson The Internship
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in 'The Internship'.

Horndog wedding crashers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson go soft in The Internship, a flabby farce that might win a pass at the box office because it's just so cute and family friendly. But where's your edge, guys? Where are the laughs that walk a tightrope? Vaughn and Wilson are possessed of an apparently ageless comic chemistry. But they stay in the safe zone here, playing L.A. wristwatch salesmen in a world where smartphones tell you what time it is. Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are dinosaurs relegated to the boneyard by their boss (John Goodman). What can they do? In what must have been a studio sponsorship deal with the devil, the fortyish geezers attempt to win an internship with Google, represented as the best place to work EVER! In this Silicon Valley, office-as-theme-park nirvana (the film was shot on the campus of Georgia Tech), the sun always shines, meals are free, cars run without drivers and even the staffers are hot (case in point: Rose Byrne). Billy and Nick's competitors for the coveted internship are a team of asshole jocks, led by Brit twit Graham (Max Minghella), and a crew of sweet Big Bang Theory-like geeks (Dylan O'Brien, Tiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael). Billy and Nick join the young dweebs who cringe at their tech cluelessness. Billy says on the line instead of online and quotes 1980's touchstones, such as Flashdance. He and Nick are pop-culture junkies meant to have no concept of X-Men, Quidditch, or Nelly. Will the kids come to understand and appreciate the life experience of their elders as they engage in these mental Hunger Games? In this script, credited to Vaughn and Jared Stern, no predictable turn goes untaken. Director Shawn Levy, grand poobah of the hack franchise (Night At the Museum, Cheaper By the Dozen), seems terrified to venture outside the box – a tartly funny cameo from Will Ferrell being the rare exception. The Internship takes a padded two hours to tell a thin story that buries its charm in emo-mongering and Google plugs. Newbies are called Nooglers – don't you love it? Didn't think so.