The frustrating thing is that, with a few tweaks, it could have really been good. If there’s something on the floor, you’ll pick it up; if there’s a mess, you’ll clean it. There’s an aesthetic pleasure in doing things right and a moral satisfaction in attentive action, in improving the world, even if only by the efficient grace of your presence. Most of these are younger employees at the company, while Holm plays Jules’ husband and Russo the office masseuse.
But the stringent standards that you set for yourself makes you self-critical and self-doubting, unduly insecure-and therefore needy, fast to take the mildest criticism to heart and redouble it, to receive it as a wounding blow and a definitive rejection.
Another reason for wanting to produce is to see the material that interests her, like last year’s musical Song One, through to fruition.
Jules is played by Anne Hathaway. For all your intelligence, energy, originality, strength of character, and overt cheerfulness, you risk becoming a black hole of self-defeating negativity.
AP: Another hallmark of your films is you have great sets. He provides the Zen in her life that only seems rushed at first, but as the story progresses, is chaotic at different levels. It’s not a whole picture of an inner landscape but the details that it reproduces are uncompromisingly clear and precise. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers – who gave us the 2009 Meryl Streep-Alec Baldwin midlife romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” – “The Intern” stars Robert De Niro as Ben Whittaker, an incredibly classy, retired widower who served as an executive for a company that printed phone books. Jules doesn’t really want Ben finding the cracks in her flawless exterior, especially her crumbling home life. To add to the confusion, the cover model is Nicole Kidman, who is so sufficiently surgeried and “shopped that you would have no idea which decade of her career she’s in”. She’s sufficiently self-critical at work to believe that she could benefit from the corporate equivalent of adult supervision; and she’s sufficiently self-critical at home to think that relief from the pressure of a demanding job might improve her marriage. Meyers has a little fun with De Niro’s onscreen history: a barbershop shave recalls his turn as Al Capone in The Untouchables; and he talks to his reflection, though in the most un-Taxi-Driver way imaginable.
Ben willingly accepts being called old-school.
Old people can feel useless, and young people can feel overwhelmed.
She’s not a woman with original artwork in her house but she’s got an eye. There are four of these here, and they all involve Ben. He offers no wisdom but is filled with it and is waiting to be tapped. Given all this, it’s a shame the movie isn’t a tad better. These scenes, with Jules frantically working her iPhone, suggest an alternate title: “Driving Miss Texty”. But the dramatic heft and interesting characters made for a much better storyline than the majority of the time when the movie acts like the worst possible episode of “Two and a Half Men” that you can think of (including the Ashton Kutcher era). Women, too, often did the same. So hopefully they’ll see the movie. In fact, Jules isn’t a type at all. They do not dare to eat a peach.
But the actress, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, concedes this new chapter is “a little bit hard”. He leads and owns the film without a shade of doubt.
But Jules has crossed the line.
Her unusually developed character has the somewhat adverse effect of exaggerating Ben’s one-note, but charming simplicity. That’s where, in the movie’s view, she runs afoul of the tones and undertones of her generation.
The central conflict in The Martian is far bigger than the company quandaries of The Intern – Matt Damon’s astronaut has been stranded on Mars during a mission gone wrong, and must struggle to stay alive while NASA figures out a away to save him – but the people in it are no less decent.
Perhaps sensing that she has stacked the deck against another successful female, Meyers spends a lot of time having women point out how there are no more real men, either.