Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rapid Reviews: The Intern and Sleeping with Other People

One of the films opening this weekend is The Intern, the latest comedy from It's Complicated director Nancy Meyers. With an A-list cast featuring Academy Award winners Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, this fluff piece regrettably falls a little short of initial expectations.

After a brief stint with retirement prompts Ben Whittaker, a 70 year old widower, to apply for an internship with an online fashion website, he's selected for the position and assigned to personally assist their company head, Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). And as Ben closely observes his overworked boss, he slowly convinces her that he can be a valuable asset to the company, and more importantly, a loyal friend.

The Intern works tirelessly to blend together legitimate laughs and earnest drama. Yet, while the film succeeds from a comedic standpoint, its emotional core feels forced and insincere. With a running time just north of two full hours, The Intern finds itself massively outstretched and completely dismantled by a deplorable third act that's overacted by the film's leading lady, Anne Hathaway. The movie's best moments come at the hands of its supporting stars. Unfortunately, they aren't enough to maintain a winning formula.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C+

In a bit of a surprise, the indie comedy Sleeping with Other People wraps a laugh-filled exterior around a hearty center. Despite filmmaker Leslye Headland's unloved 2012 debut, Bachelorette, she rebounds nicely with this admirable second effort.

Following an unconventional encounter in which Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) took each other's virginity a dozen years prior, these two sexual deviants reconnect outside of a sex addicts meeting. And although Jake has developed into a non-committal womanizer and Lainey can't shake her sexual relationship with a taken man, their unusual friendship gives them fresh perspectives on life and happiness.

Sleeping with Other People is relentless with its sexually-driven humor and, despite feeling too over the top at times, it ultimately works well thanks to excellent turns from Sudeikis and Brie. Their onscreen chemistry is exceptional and their talents allow for fluid transitions between its raunchy jokes and more dramatic moments. Sleeping with Other People always feels authentic and benefits greatly from a strong collection of secondary characters and well-developed characters. Don't expect the next big breakout comedy, but it proves to be an enjoyable and smooth ride.

Stars: 2 and a half stars out of 4

Grade: B-

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