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Doug's Take: 'The Internship' is not great cinema, but delivers when it counts

Published: Wednesday, July 1 2015 11:34 p.m. MDT

"The Internship" stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. (Phil Bray) "The Internship" stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. (Phil Bray)

I tried to dislike "The Internship," but I just couldn’t quite pull it off. Every time the filmmakers disappointed me — and that happened with regularity — they would then come around and redeem themselves with something truly funny, clever or even touching.

Lest you think I’m going soft, “The Internship” is not great cinema and may have just caught me in a weakened moment.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson star as Billy and Nick, two buddies who are old-school salesmen. They have the art of the schmooze down pat, they know their customers' favorite foods, they ply their clients with preferred booze and, of course, they know the names of everybody’s kids and insist on seeing the latest family pictures. Simply put, these guys are good.

"The Internship" stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. (Phil Bray) "The Internship" stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. (Phil Bray)

But the company they work for and the high-end watches they sell are rapidly becoming dinosaurs, and so are Billy and Nick. And, to add insult to injury, the boys find out that their company has gone belly up from one of their clients during an elaborate dinner.

Sales is all they know, and realizing they have to do something radical, Billy has the bright idea of applying for an internship at Google. Even though their online interview with the Internet giant is somewhat of a meltdown, the Google reps find something appealing in the duo and invite them to the summer internship at Googleplex, the corporate campus in San Francisco. This is a computer geek's Utopia.

Nick and Billy are the proverbial fish out of water.

The characters we’re introduced to at Google are, well, unique. Geekiness is off the charts, egos are running rampant, bizarre quirks and hang-ups are the norm, and, interestingly enough, a strange camaraderie begins to develop between our heroes and their younger team members who are in an all-out competition for the few coveted Google jobs promised to the winners.

It’s silly, sadly includes sexual and bathroom humor, it’s predictable — but, just when you’re ready to write “The Internship” off, it comes around and delivers a moment that keeps you from hating it.

All I can say is I walked out not wanting my two hours back so, I’m going to give this film a generous 2 ½ stars. “The Internship” is rated PG-13

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