Ben Whittaker has retired after a long and successful career and is also a widower. After travelling the world post retirement, the boredom of having nothing to do all day quickly sets in when he's back home. Eager to get busy in an office environment again, he finds employment with an online fashion outlet, founded by Jules (Hathaway), as a senior intern.
The characters that inhabit a Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, What Women Want etc) film are usually fairly well-off and seemingly, don't have much to worry about except for maybe, their love lives. For Meyers, it's the kind of tried-and-tested confection that plays it safe and sweet.
Therefore, if not for De Niro's presence here, this movie would have been just another by-the-numbers flick about millennials and their various issues. Sure, Anne Hathaway does essay her somewhat conflicted character as the fast-paced (she rides a cycle in the office and personally takes random customer calls) startup owner who juggles a family life too, quite well but it is not something that any other actress in her league could not have done equally well, if not better.
Ultimately though, it is De Niro who owns this film as the elderly gent who might not be that tech savvy, but more than makes up for it with a lifetime's worth of learned lessons and work experience.
Initially, Jules is cold to the point of being rude to Ben. Her tenuous relationship with her mother could be the root cause for a general sense of disdain she feels for senior citizens. But Ben wins over the office with his comforting, almost sage-like presence, and gradually, Jules takes a shine to genial geriatric Ben, thanks to his efficiency, unruffled demeanor and quiet confidence. He gives Jules grandfatherly advice and also finds himself rejuvenated in the capable hands of the office masseuse, Fiona (Russo).
The Intern is a generational matchup of Baby Boomer-meets-millennial mindset with the office as a backdrop. You'll watch it for De Niro and Hathaway's easy onscreen chemistry.