Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A few thoughts on "The Internship"

The Internship, starring blah blah blah and produced by blah blah blah look it's a two hour Google PR piece okay.

My company paid for the entire office to go see The Internship. We took up three cinemas at Event Cinemas on George Street. We ate terrible food and laughed at all the serious bits and cringed at all the jokes. After all was said and done, this is what was on my mind:

The movie is absolutely a sugar-coated PR coup for Google. Despite all the major inaccuracies that portray company life and culture as far, far worse than it is.

I mean, sure, if any work environment was difficult to honestly insult, it would make sense for it to be a multiple-time best place to work. But man it's a little embarrassing seeing how shiny and wonderful a workplace they made Google seem.

(The having a beer with your boss line makes a little more sense now that I've seen it than how the trailer implied. One less thing to complain about.)

There was a wonderful (if obligatory) sports scene in which the main cast played an exceptionally rough, entertaining match of unnamed-game-with-Quaffles-Bludgers-Snitches-and-broomsticks... which, yes, is an obvious Twilight reference that they clearly avoiding directly naming for trademark reasons — fuck draconian enforcement of trademarks, incidentally; broomstick-sport is an utterly harmless non-brand-damaging example of fan culture at its finest.

I just had a fridge logic moment. The film heavily implied that they only ever played one game of Quid-ravine. But there were twenty teams. That's not even remotely a round robin tournament.

...wait, never mind, it was probably a bracketed tournament, wasn't it.

But twenty isn't a power of two!...

...but they could easily have had five divisions of four, picked a winner for each, and then played them off in a round robin.

But that's completely the wrong way round to organise a tournament! You do the round robins first to make sure fans get to see their teams play at least a few matches, then the elimination rounds last for added drama and actual finals/semifinals!...

...but they come on Chris what are you doing this is completely off topic

Rose Byrne is (still) a wonderful actor. Granted, the last time I saw her in anything was Damages, which means I was utterly unused to seeing her playing a character who smiles. While in all honesty her character, Dana, exists exclusively for the romantic sideplot, she executes the trope of the career-focused workaholic with a pleasantly surprising amount of soul. The line in which Dana justifies her devotion to her work, I truly believe we're making the world a better place, is delivered with an earnesty which is completely antithetical to the stereotype of the ladder-climbing young professional. Realistic? No idea. But it was certainly refreshing to see the trope executed with, if not two, at least one and a half dimensions.

(And: whoa. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I am now discovering that Damages ran for five seasons. I stopped watching only a few episodes into the third season, purely due to time constraints. This was back in Melbourne when I watched too much TV with my family to get any other time-wasting done.)

Rose Byrne opposite Glenn Close in Damages.

The main antagonist had a British accent for no particular reason. Seriously, America? Seriously? We've been over this. Your Revolutionary War was in the eighteenth century. Let. It. Go. Stop falling back on this trope, it's silly and racist.

The main antagonist was wonderfully hateable. I mean, come on, he had a British accent and everyth— What? Hypocrisy? Sounds familiar. Isn't it that oath doctors have to take?

But seriously. In a cast of characters who were all insular, geeky/nerdy, university educated upper middle class types, the writers did an amazing job of taking every despicable character trait they could reconcile with those demographics and turning them up to eleven.

And the sauna scene. Oh, man, that sauna scene. That polite malice. That disdain. I want that guy (Max Minghella) playing a big-time villain on Doctor Who.

Every single abbreviation explanation felt like the worst As You Know, Bob writing in the history of ever. Cosplay: costume play. New Googlers: Nooglers!

Of course that's just in my opinion, or, as I sometimes say, IMO.

The cosplay explanation from the Indian girl (Nisha, if I'm remembering her name tag right? *bings* Whoops, no, Neha), as well as just about everything else she said about things one finds most commonly on the internet, were painfully misrepresentative. Not one hundred percent off the mark. But often a little too specific.

Hentai is not just tentacle sex dammit.

...at least, I think? I'll admit I'm also a little rusty on my terminology.

From a writing perspective, they were all perfectly appropriate explanations for an audience not familiar with those particular subcultures. My complaint is as the not-intended audience — it was twitch-inducing when one can recognise expert characters missing the mark...

Oh also. Neha's little stream of consciousness regarding her Leia costume. That was, um. Eloquent. Evocative? Eyebrow-raising. I have at least a couple of friends I'd recommend that movie to just for the actor, Tiya Sircar's, delivery of those lines.

Overall, the movie was fun. About as cringe-worthy as I'd expected, but surprisingly less crappy on whole than I'd been bracing myself for. It was worth my time, though I'm not sure whether I'd feel the same if I'd had to buy my own tickets. (Anyone who actually went to see this movie legitimately, let me know your thoughts!)

P.S. As painful as it was to hear it used every five seconds, yes, the word Googliness wasn't just made up for the movie.

I'm... not sure whether I ought to apologise for that...

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