The intern is an american comedy, written and directed by Nancy Meyers that stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. It follows a 70-year-old widower who becomes a senior intern at an online fashion website. ¿Senior intern? that's right. It's the turn of the screw 'cause we remember Anne's intern experience in The Devil wears Prada and now she's the boss. But not like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) of course.
The thing is that Ben Whitakker (Robert De Niro) applies to a senior citizen intern program because retirement is too boring for him. He's full of energy and experience, he's had a great life but now, after his wife's death he's looking for something to focus in. He took mandarin lessons, yoga lessosn and other stuff but what he really wanna do is to have a job. So this internship looks like a great opportunity for him. He applies to a fast-growing e-commerce fashion startup, impresses everyone and gets hired. But there's someone who's not so happy with this whole idea: Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the founder of the company. She's skeptical at first but as the film moves forward she discovers how great Ben is and through the film and the evolution of their relationship, several lessons emerge that I want to highlight today.
1. Avoid prejudices
Jules didn't like Ben at first because he was old and besides the fact she's not good with old people, there's that other thing: in this computarized world with apps and websites, what can a 70 years old man add? that's what she thinks. But soon she realizes Ben has not only great skills but an iron will for learning. He's capable of learning anything he want to. So yes he's not very skill with computers but he tries and managed to work with them. How wrong was Jules at first. We gotta give people the opportunty to surprise us.
2. Respect older people
This one's kinda related with the previous one. Respect not only means giving them a seat in a crowed bus or the subway. Respect means to treat them kindly and recognizing they are valuable to society and that their experience can be an important asset for us. We should listen our parents, ants, uncles and grandparents, they have lived more than we have. If we learn how to live by experience, how can we be better prepared for life than those who came before us? In the movie, Ben earns the respect from his coworkers and becomes something of a father figure to several of the younger, offering advice about issues such as love, clothes sense and work/life balance. And they listen to him.
3. It's never too late
In the company, Ben develops a romantic relationship with the in-house massage therapist, Fiona (Rene Russo). He's a widower, she's divorced. They both have kids and have come to a place in their life where many people just resign living. They don't. He, as the gentleman he is, ask her out and she says yes right away. Their first date it's at an unexpected funeral but they take it very well. Are they old? no, just older. They're still willing to commit in a relationship, to love, live, laugh, who cares what other people says? who says there's an age for happiness? for learning something new? who says there's a time to stop chasing your dreams?
4. Be humble and kind to others
Ben is an older man, he has lived a lot, he held important positions in other companies, but he accepts that times have changed. This new job represents a new opportunity for him and he has no qualms about letting himself be bossed. Besides that, at no time is he rude or arrogant.
5. Have someone you can trust in
You must have someone to do delicate tasks such as entering your mother's house to check her computer and delete an e-mail that you sent by accident. I'm not saying that you do exactly that, but someone in whom you can deposit that level of confidence. The burdens, the problems, are less monstrous if we have someone to share them with, he or she doesn't even have to help you solve them, it's enough to have someone who is willing to truly listen in times of crisis.
6. Keep the faith in yourself
It is possible that after having achieved success, having climbed a mountain and overcome a series of difficulties, there comes a time when things begin to stagnate or decay and we have doubts. Am I the best for this? Is this the best option? but when that happen, as Ben tells Jules "remember who did that". You climbed that mountain, sure you can handle any situatuion that comes after. But here's also very important that number 5 we talked about. In times like these a friend, a good friend, can be a great reminder of what sometimes wa tend to forget.
7. Slow down and smell the roses.
Times are faster. Resting just a couple of hours at night to get ready for the next day rutine, six days a week, fifty two weeks per year, because we gotta pay debts, buy more things, earn more money becau-- Stop! Slow down. Take a deep breath. Life is so much more than a job and buying things. Share time with your loved ones, with the people you care about, go crazy from time to time; in a word: you have to live!. That's why I liked the final sequence so much, because we can see Ben doing some tai chi or something like that and when Jules arrives and she wants to tell him something about work, Ben invites her to stand by his side, follow his exercise and says: "tell me when we're done". We gotta take some time to ourselves.