Saturday, June 08, 2013

A Boomer Review of the Movie The Internship

The Internship is a movie about two middle-aged men who suddenly become unemployed and end up at GOOGLE as interns, along with dozens of younger, technological geeks.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson portray the two middle-aged men who were watch salesmen and lifelong friends. Without warning, their company shuts down because, as the owner says, "mobile phones have replaced watches as the best means of telling time."

As "Ngooglers" Vaughn and Wilson are teamed up with a group of perceived misfits who must compete in a series of challenges, with the winning group being offered permanent jobs at the company.

Despite other not-so-flattering reviews I have read about this movie, I actually enjoyed it. As a middle-aged woman, I clearly understand the challenges my fellow boomers face when trying to re-enter the workforce. We did not grow up with computers, so when trying to re-enter corporate America or simply changing jobs, there are, in many cases, technology demands we may not be proficient in. And then there is the ribbing (or behind-the-back insults) we may get from our younger co-workers.

The Internship shows how wide the generation gap is when it comes to technology but also demonstrates the value middle-aged folks still bring to the business world. Case in point: Vaughn and Wilson are able to convince another middle-aged small business owner the importance of using technology to grow his business with a sales pitch AFTER the younger team tried to do it with a computer-laced chart of bars and graphs and a lack of understanding of how to effectively communicate face-to-face.

One reviewer calls The Internship "tired and predictable." I totally disagree. While it may not be realistic for middle-aged folks who are unemployed to believe they can get an internship at a place like Google, there is no mistaking the fact that boomers have an edge when it comes to wheeling and dealing without having to use an app for that.

If I had to point out a negative in the movie, I would have to say it's the lack of diversity, especially when it comes to young black males. It seems as if Hollywood has written off young black men as technological geniuses. Having a biracial young man in The Internship does not count especially when he shows no sign of color other than his hair.

If you're a baby boomer, I recommend you see The Internship and keep hope alive.