The Internship is a feel-good comedy with a surprising insight: it doesn’t matter how in or out of touch you are with computers, anxiety over the future is something every generation shares.
Comedians Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have teamed up as Billy and Nick, two aging salesmen whose jobs have been destroyed by the digital age. As their last deal goes sour they’re called in by their boss and given some hard truths about the modern workplace:
“You guys are foot soldiers, not generals. Let’s face it, where you’re going you’ve already been – and it’s not pretty.”
But the eternally optimistic Billy says he’s “… tired of asking for just enough to get by.” He convinces Nick to apply for an internship at Google. If they’re successful they could win dream jobs. The only thing standing in their way is a hoard of bright, young, brilliant things who were born with keyboards in their hands. The big laughs arises from Billy and Nick’s attempts to pass as computer-savvy tech-heads, worthy of a position in the world’s most prominent digital company. But the bittersweet laughs are the ones that reflect the all-too-real feeling of being adrift in a sea of indifference.
It doesn’t take Billy and Nick long to realize that it’s not just Generation X who are uncertain about their future. Their project team consists of young graduates who have grown up being told, “… you can no longer count on anything.” It’s a sobering moment. Social commentators are fond of pointing out Gen Y’s familiarity with a constantly changing world and their resulting flexibility. But if everything is always changing then everything can be over in a moment, just as it was for Billy and Nick. How do you cope with that much uncertainty?
Director Shawn Levy has made a career out of feel-good comedies – Date Night, A Night At The Museum – so it’s not surprising he’s come up with a storyline that underscores as he puts it, “…that another chapter in the story of you is always possible.” For Billy and Nick, the ability to write that chapter depends very much on the attitude they take:
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“There’s still some dreams out there. Just reach out and grab them!”
There are obvious problems with The Internship for Christians – drinking and sexualised dancing as entertainment are the more obvious. But reaching for the possibility of change is something we want to encourage in every person. The decision to change the path you’re on can lead to an infinitely better future, as far as believers are concerned. But as encouraging as The Internship can be, I think it’s worth building your future on something a lot more certain than staying positive. ‘Turning that frown upside down’ can make light of very real struggles and a surprisingly uneven playing field.
In reality, the way forward is not a determination to re-invent myself, but a realization that someone is re-inventing me. That’s why the Bible constantly assures its readers that God is sovereign in even their darkest moments:
“For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
So, when redundancy strikes the older generation, or exam marks fail reach the aspirations of those who are younger, the response should be the same. Though I can’t see it, this is for the best. Why? Because I can conquer even this? No, because there is someone who makes me more than a conqueror through Christ – and His grasp on everything that’s going on puts Google in the shade.
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 13, 2013