Tonight I decided to watch a movie with my Granny, Carmen. Just the two of us and it was time well spent. Before this past week I had not seen her in quite some time, which is unusual. Partially because of my illness, but ultimately due to things that were going on with someone I care a lot about. My logic was, if I wasn’t able to spend time with the person I care for romantically, then I had no business spending time with anyone else. I’ve been ashamed of how I have been behaving for so long that I just postpone interactions as much as I possibly can. The thing is, that mindset kept me away from the both of them. I was too consumed by my illness…err, disease. Let’s just call it what it truly is…a disease. The words disease and illness are often used interchangeably, when in fact they are two separate things by definition and presentation. However, there should be no dichotomy, both illness and disease are related but should be clarified. Usually one affects the other and vice versa. My apologies, I’m going off on a tangent. More on this argument on another day.
So tonight we watched the movie, The Intern. I don’t know about you but I thoroughly enjoy spending time watching films. Not so much for the entertainment but because I see film as an art. Much as I do photography, music, books, etc. The person responsible for the story of a film, at some point in their life either had to feel those feelings that or portrayed in the film or at least know someone close to them who had. Films aren’t simply just made up is my point. At least that is my belief and with that films deserve respect. Which is why I will watch any movie once. Albeit it’s not a film I would’ve chosen, I have to give credit where it is due and I will say it was quite enjoyable. The lead roles were portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro, who I am a huge fan of his work. DeNiro plays the part of Ben, a retired 70 year old widower, who grew bored of not having a purpose and a place to be on a consistent basis and decided to apply for a senior citizen internship for a very successful internet company owned by Hathaway’s character, Jules. He was ultimately got the gig and was assigned to work with the CEO herself.
Jules, owns a successful start-up company and it just so happens to be located in Ben’s former company where he himself was a executive of a phone book printing company. At first glance, most impressions of Ben were stereotypical thinking. He’s too old, too tired, too slow, how many pills are you taking, etc. Those impressions were quickly erased as Ben was an instant performer. Jules needed a guy like Ben, and he needed to feel needed. He even found himself a lady friend at the office who easily gave him a boner. Who needs Viagra at 70? Not Ben. His lady friend was played by Rene Russo, was the company masseuse. Where were those when I belonged to a corporation?
As I stated, the company was very successful and it was ultimately decided that perhaps the company was becoming too successful for their current size and market. Others felt that perhaps an experienced CEO needed to step in Jules’ place and even out the pace. This upset Jules and it was taken personally. As it should have been. Too many people think that women are incapable of successfully running a company. I know plenty. Now, I will say that being in a meeting with a handful of women can sometimes be draining because a lot of feelings get involved and when you’re in a time crunch, that can make things more problematic. However, I do know the feelings come from a good place and are often as a result of their voices not being heard simply because they are women and men can be dicks with their egos. Jules begins on a mission to interview for the new CEO and her potential boss. Meanwhile, Ben and Jules’ relationship is blossoming. Her career kept her insanely busy and she missed out on her family life at home: lack of time spent with daughter, lack of sex, lack of a relationship with her parents, lack of real friendships, etc. This is typical of someone who is doing well at work, yes? It sounds pretty typical to me and there’s nothing wrong with being a go-getter. Hell, I think it’s sexy. However, you do need to be surrounded by a support system for many reasons. At first glance, Matt who is Jules’ husband, seemed to be that support. He chose to take a step back from his career so that Jules could live out her career dreams and start up her own company. That’s a characteristic of a person who has your best interests in mind and truly cares. Ben was quick to let Jules know how lucky she was to have a guy like Matt at home. But was she? Jules seemed to be somewhat indifferent by Ben’s judgement and felt he was too observant and even asked for him to be transferred to work with someone else. Then one late night at the office changed everything for Ben and Jules’ work and personal relationship moving forward. It started over booze and pizza. Two of my favorite things.
Ben told Jules of how he used to work in their current location and what he did for a living prior to his retirement. Jules was surprised to learn how successful Ben was in his prime and questioned why at his age now that he had chosen to take his current path. Ultimately, like I stated…he was lonely. He lost his wife after 42 years of marriage, which he referred to as “not enough time.” One can only hope at that age, as you reflect back on your life, that the same could be said for the person you chose to do life with. Which is why we must choose carefully.
During the transition we are invited more into Jules’ personal life and we see the drain that her marriage has become. Her husband doesn’t want to have sex with her, that’s never a good sign. If your guy no longer wants to have sex with you and you want to, he’s either cheating or there’s an erection problem going on which can be the result of various things. I’m going to be honest with you, even if the sex is bad…the guy will still have sex with you. Back to the movie, Jules makes it home too late to put her daughter to bed. She doesn’t sleep. An unhappy marriage brewing? Perhaps we will find out.
Well, a work trip comes up that Matt can go with Jules’ on. It would have been a great time for them to spend some alone time together to work on their communication, but scheduling conflicts resulted in Jules’ having to go alone. Hmm…someone else spends their time alone in this movie too. Ben. When he is asked if he would like to join Jules’ in San Francisco, he was obliged. But before the trip takes place, something happened that would change Ben’s view on the marriage of Jules’ and Matt. Accidentally Ben observes Matt smooching with some other woman outside of their home. This upset Ben because he respected Jules and he had grown to be very protective of her, much like a father-daughter protection. He doesn’t disclose what he saw to Jules’ right away but instead later while the two of them are lying on the bed in their fancy robes having tea and sharing $15 hotel almonds. Jules admits that she has known about Matt’s infidelity and Ben admits that he has too. Jules was surprised to learned that he cheated most recently as of the previous day. She admits that shes upset with him and views the hiring of a CEO as something to save her marriage. Why should she be the one to do the work? That was exactly the advice that Ben exclaimed to her. Great advice, Ben. Jules goes on to say that she ultimately is afraid of dying alone and ending up in the singles section of the graveyard. Is there such a thing? Who the hell cares when you’re dead?
Ben, being the gentleman that he is, offers her a plot in he and his wife’s plot. What a guy he is, yea? This is what upset me most with the film. Settling. So many people do this and it’s very disheartening and shameful really when you think about it. We all have choices to make but when you settle, it’s from lack of courage and confidence. Jules’ character stated she knew that if a divorce resulted that Matt would remarry but she felt that she wouldn’t because she was, “difficult.” To say a woman is difficult, you’re pretty much stating that she is a bitch. Why does a strong, successful, independent-capable woman have to be portrayed as a bitch all of the time? I’ve never really understood that. I’m thirty-three years old, going on thirty-four and I’ve disrespected two women with that name. Neither of which had anything to do with me feeling insecure about their capabilities or success but everything to do with them being mean to me at the time. My ex-wife once, maybe twice and my sister once when she was trying to make me do something that I didn’t want to do. Back to the film, Jules continues to explain her stance on how they can work things out and this time Ben doesn’t have a handkerchief. Men out there, always have a handkerchief. You just never know. Jules goes on to interview the potential CEO in San Francisco and extends an offer. This was a surprise as all of the other interviewees were not up to her standards. I think ultimately it was due to the lingering belief that if she were around more at home, her husband wouldn’t cheat. Your significant other should love and respect you when your home and when you’re away but shit happens right. Ben extends his advice and supports Jules’ decision but wants her to think about the sole purpose of why she created the company. He takes her back to a moment when he observed her, because he’s observant, personally showing an employee how to fold the clothing, which was the product. He admired how involved she was. To Ben, that is the reason behind the company’s success…it’s leader. Jules decides to retract her offer after the conversation with her best friend, Ben.
The pair arrived at the office to flowers, were they from the cheater? Another thing, why do men send flowers after they do bad things? The real reason you send flowers is to make the woman smile. Haven’t you learned that yet? For no other reason that than. I’ve never been much of a flower sender until my previous relationship. Man, did I love sending her flowers. Next, in walks Matt. He proclaims his love for her and told her about the affair and stated that it was over. He wanted to repair the relationship but he wanted to do that with Jules doing what she loved, operating her company. Matt brushes her hand and then they rip off each others clothing and fuck right there on the boardroom table. I’m just kidding, but they do brush hands. Jules rushes out to find Ben but he’s not there. Where is he? Oh he’s just in the park doing tai chi. You know, being a 70 year old intern has it’s perks. Jules finds him and she wants to tell him the good news. Being the person he is, he responds, “tell me when I’m finished” and directs Jules to the current position. Fades out..the end.
Granny turns to me and asked what I thought of the movie and we each gave our analysis. Never judge a book by it’s cover I said. Ben was 70 years old and proved he could continue to achieve success. Her response was that she thinks of me as an old soul, a lover and a protector. Much like Ben. I don’t really know about that but I do hope I can relate to three key characteristics of Ben when I am that age: the ability to have and maintain an erection, be a voice of reason for someone, and to be able to say that there aren’t enough years with my wife that would have been enough time. Who am I kidding, I seriously doubt I’ll be able to trust another woman to love her romantically as the bar has been set so high recently. Maybe I’ll end up in the singles section of the graveyard. Not exactly. I want to be cremated and the ashes to be planted with seed pod of a tree.
All that said…The Intern is genuine feel good film that deserves a viewing. It’s not a typical DeNiro film and it was nice to see him portray such a warm character. Everyone could use a Ben in their life. Here’s the trailer if you have no idea what the fuck I’ve been talking about this whole time.
Now, where can I find a vintage briefcase like Ben’s?…imagine how great that thing smells. Oh and there was mention of guacamole in the film and now I want guacamole. Fun fact about me – I always want guacamole.