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Marshall Fine Headshot

Movie review: The Internship

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The jokes practically write themselves for The Internship, or at least that would be the case if writers Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern were actually paying attention to this one-joke movie.

Instead, this limp outing plays like an extended improv session, in which all of the best jokes wound up in the trailer. They still had almost two hours to fill, and that's what you get: filler.

Vaughn reteams with Owen Wilson, with whom he produced significantly more laughs in 2005's Wedding Crashers. Here, in a story that should resonate with an audience faced with the scary prospect of aging out of their jobs, they can't come up with much of anything.

Wilson and Vaughn play Nick and Billy, a sales team whose company goes out of business while they're still on a sales trip. The best they can do? Internships at Google, to drag their analog asses into the 21at Century. The best interns -- determined by a summer-long team competition among these new Googlers (or Nooglers) -- will land a job with Google.

So Revenge of the Nerds meets Meatballs in a color-by-numbers comedy that's neither fast nor furious enough. It's not outrageous; indeed, it's barely funny. Despite a strong cast that includes Assif Mandvi, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella and Josh Gad, there are few inspired moments in a movie about chasing inspiration.

Before I saw The Internship, my son (who'd seen it) told me, "Prepare to be mildly amused."

That vastly oversells it.

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