Sam Strange Remembers: THE INTERNSHIP

Vince Vaughn and his Aunt Owen take on Google.

There's a certain mentality out there which states that once you cross a certain age, you no longer have the ability to be useful to society. And that you need to wear diapers. It's insulting. The first part, I mean. The second bit is totally true.

I saw this happening to my pal Vance Van. He's kind of a motor mouthed cocky asshole who got to play a bunch of motor mouthed cocky assholes in a bunch of comedies 10 years ago, but now that he's old and puffy, no one wants to hire him. The same goes for his partner Owen Wilson, a blonde, pretty, surfer boy who seems to be disintegrating from the inside out as time goes by.

Hollywood told Vance Van that he no longer had a place because of his age. So Vance came to me looking for a vehicle with which he could prove Hollywood wrong. I said no, but then he talked me into it anyway because that's sort of his thing.

The only way this was going to work was with the element of surprise. The film not only had to be good but had to be good while also looking exactly like the stupid, hackneyed, culturally outdated and clueless idea that could only come from someone who was old and out of touch. So Vance thought up the Google angle. Actually, at first it was going to be Yahoo because Vance truly is old and out of touch.

So Vance and Owen play two best friends who have built up a nice career selling super watches for John Goodman and John Goodman's weirdly veiny forearms. But while making a big sale to rich watch enthusiast Kenan Thompson, both are shocked to discover that their company has actually been closed and no one told them. Or rather, the news was on Google, but they don't know what that is.

They angrily ask John Goodman what the fuck, to which he answers, "No one uses watches anymore. When they want to know what time it is, they just ask Google." To prove it, he asks his secretary. Sure enough, rather than look at her wrist, she turns on her computer, logs in, opens a browser, types in, and asks what time it is. But before it can answer, Google needs to know what time zone she is in. Once it has that data, it can now sign her up for a Google+ account. During this process, she is free to browse a carousel of wrist watch advertisements. Eventually she answers, 3:45pm.

This is bad news for the boys. The need to work because Vance has a massive house to pay for and a wife who hates him. Owen has a lot of plastic surgery plans. They need some dough.

Desperate, Vance starts Googling jobs, but it's rough because all he knows how to do is sell things and whenever people want to buy things, they just use Google. Finally, Vance decides to find out what the shit this Google is all about. Maybe he can go work for them? But first he has to find it. So he Googles Yahoo, then uses Yahoo to Google Google. This brings him to Google. Which is right back where he started.

Eventually he figures it out and sets up an interview for himself and Owen. The interview is not for a job but rather an internship which could possibly someday maybe lead to a job. Because he doesn't know how to work the computer at his house, through which he set all this up, he and Owen have to do their Skype interview at the public library. This is helpful because the kids and pooping homeless people there can help teach him what Skype is.

Their interview goes well. After a couple basic questions, the interviewers get a little freaky by asking them what they would do if they were tiny and trapped in a blender. Normally this places interviewees into a kind of stunned, panicky silence. But Vance and Owen are extreme bullshitters, so they run with the scenario way beyond its original intentions. This puts the interviewers into a kind of stunned, panicky silence. Owen and Vance's inclusion is put to a vote. Everyone votes thumbs down, but due to a computer error, it prints out as a thumbs up.

So now Owen and Vance are at Google. It's important we all understand what Google is. Basically, Google is the greatest place on Earth to work. You come to a campus where everything looks really pretty and colorful. All the food and coffee and stuff is free of charge. If you're tired, you can take a load off in one of their sleep pods. They keep the best doctors and dentists in the country on staff 24/7. You can live on campus in a nicely sized Google condo for only a few bucks a week if you want. The prostitutes are legendary - M&F.

But that's not all. Google also employs nothing but sniveling, conniving assholes who have been preparing so hard to get there that they do not know how to properly live and appreciate this utopia. Google is okay with this because the people who started it are the same way. They don't know any better.

When Vance and Owen show up, they are immediately alienated and ostracized for being too old and out of touch, which is exactly how audiences are supposed to feel about The Internship as a whole. But with a heaping pile of good, old fashioned positivity, Vance and Owen are going to prove you and Google how vital they can be in a world gone Android.

Their main arsenal in this attack is an encyclopedia of aphorisms used to counter and see the silver lining in every situation. So if someone calls them stupid, they can say: "Stupid is as stupid does." Or if someone talks about being disappointed in something, they can say "Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get." Shit like that.

The Google internship works like this: On the first day, the massive class of new interns breaks into smaller groups, after which they participate in a series of five challenges. The group who wins the most challenges gets to enjoy jobs at Google. The rest have to go to Yahoo, which is located in Afghanistan and doesn't even supply toilet paper in the employee restrooms.

You could be a wiseass and ask questions like: "What if each team wins one challenge, and they're all tied," but you'd be forgetting that this is a movie. And despite all the teamsĀ  you see in the background, there are really only two: Our good team and the evil villainous team.

Our team consists of a hipster nerd, a girl nerd, an asian nerd, and a geek nerd. They all treat Owen and Vance like shit, but eventually Owen and Vance's aphorisms get the better of them. This leads to a night of wild drinking and boob touching. After that, they are all transferred to the Owen and Vance way of life, which is more about having fun than working really hard at achieving your parents' dreams.

Meanwhile, Owen kind of falls in love with a pretty Google lady, and after hounding her for weeks, she finally agrees to go on a date with him just as soon as she can find a day where she doesn't already work 16-20 hours. His pitch to get the date is that her slavery to work has lead to a life without the benefit of regret, so he'll show her all the regret she's been missing. This means he has to act like an asshole for the whole date. It starts out with just calling her fat and skipping out on the bill, but by the time he refuses to go down on her and buys online porn with her credit card, she's totally won over.

Owen and Vance's positive attitude is really catching on and changing all of Google. People start working less and talking to each other more. The free cafeteria begins stocking more fun, less healthy food items. Like beer. Nearly every dark corridor and corner is occupied by foreign nineteen year old geniuses making babies.

But Owen and Vance are beginning to change as well. After a couple montages of late night studying, they become computer geniuses, which is especially easy now that their philosophy has infected the company and lowered the bar. Before anyone knows what happened, their team wins all the challenges - even the earlier challenges they didn't win. But because Google feels bad about sending all the losers home empty-handed, they give all the interns jobs! Yahooooooo!

Google goes out of business the next day, eclipsed and shat upon by Yahoo. But it doesn't bother Owen and Vance. Because nothing can bother Owen and Vance. They are unbotherable.

So they take their new life experience and go to Florida where they sell Rascals to old people, a job which is half about the money, half about banging Gmilfs. Life is good. No matter how bad it is.

(three stars)