Starring Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson. Written by Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern. Directed by Shawn Levy. PG. 119 min. Opens June 7.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson work their Wedding Crashers mojo again in their new movie The Internship, which might as well be called Google Crashers. This time out, the two aren’t buddy-buddy divorce mediators, but buddy-buddy salesmen who fast-talk their way into a coveted internship with the internet giant. It’s the set up for a feel-good comedy in which a couple of Gen X Luddites have to compete against—and teach some life lessons to—a bunch of whip-smart Millennials. It’s also, to borrow Wilson’s Texas accent, one big ol’ advertisement for Google.
Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are two veteran wristwatch peddlers who suddenly find themselves unemployed when their obsolete company goes bust. Desperate, Billy gets the crazy idea that they should bluff their way into summer intern positions at Google. But when these two computer-illiterate oldies arrive at the organization’s candy-coloured California campus, they discover the internships are what Nick calls (in one of his rare 21st-century references) “a mental Hunger Games” that pit teams of apprentices in a series of competitions to win a handful of Google jobs. Shunned by the cool kids, Billy and Nick join forces with the other “outliers,” a trio of smart-but-sad misfits led by a trying-too-hard-to-be-hip nebbish named Lyle (Josh Brener).
Google “predictable” and you’d probably come up with the movie’s plot, which has us waiting for these underdogs to inevitably whip the phlegm out of their snotty British nemesis (Max Minghella). But Vaughn, who co-wrote the screenplay, uses it as a good excuse to revive the snappy rapport he and Wilson displayed in Wedding Crashers. And once again, Wilson’s charming character gets the romantic subplot—pursuing Rose Byrne as a workaholic Google exec—while Vaughn plays the lovable lug and butt of most of the jokes. Despite a cast full of fresh young faces, it’s their old-school comedy teamwork that carries the day.