The Internship should have Googled some jokes

The Wedding Crashers are back -- and this time they're crashing The Big Bang Theory in Google-backed comedy The Internship.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
3 min read

The Wedding Crashers are back -- and this time they're crashing The Big Bang Theory. In UK cinemas today, The Internship is a new comedy set at Google's offices, apparently made by typing 'bland comedy' into Google and hitting I'm Feeling Lucky.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are two old-school salesmen marooned by the march of progress. Deciding for no discernable reason their only option is to get a job they're horribly unsuited for, they blag their way into the Big G's intern programme to compete for the coveted full-time role by completing a series of challenges while teaching folksy life lessons to an assortment of lazy ethnic stereotypes misfits.

Basically, it's one of the American Pie sequels crossed with an episode of The Apprentice, only half as funny and twice as dispiriting.

Geek gags 

All I want is a few laughs with a couple of bonus geek gags and I'd be happy. Sadly The Internship has neither.

Amid the primary colours, grinning co-eds and whitewash of Google's California campus, The Internship is about as inoffensive as it's possible to be, despite being assembled entirely out of stereotypes: smart people can't communicate. Asian mums are demanding. Cosplay is a weird sex thing. Girls just want a guy -- and guys just want a stripper.

Apart from the odd Game of Thrones reference, The Internship runs screaming from anything that genuine geeks might relate to. The film thinks its funniest gag involves the two heroes not knowing who the X-Men are -- it's in the trailer, then replayed in the closing credits -- which is stupid. Oh, and this despite the fact they do know what The Hunger Games is.

Occasionally things orbit somewhere in the region of an idea: in the film's best scene, the highly educated and highly intelligent youngsters lay out today's bleak economic reality for our ageing heroes. The old are left behind, and the young can't get out of the gate. They've done everything they were supposed to do, and for what?

The Big G

But never mind global economic meltdown -- when you work at Google you get free food! Above all, The Internship is a party political broadcast for the Big G, perpetuating the view of Google as a bouncy castle for people too smart to grow up, doing warm and fuzzy stuff like helping mom 'n' pop pizza joints expand. It's definitely not a data-hoarding, multibillion-guzzling capitalist ad monolith. No, sir. Look, there's a slide in the lobby!

Ultimately, The Internship's biggest problem is why Vaughn and Wilson are there in the first place. How is this their only option? How can these idiots possibly deserve a job in this industry more than the trained kids who have worked their whole lives to be there? And if they get the job, what are they going to do at Google?

Actually, that last one's obvious. Utterly false silver-tongued shills motivated solely by money, they'll be right at home in Google's tax department.

Are you looking forward to The Internship, or should Hollywood and technology stay separate? Has Hollywood ever got geek right? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or crash our Facebook page.