updated 06/07/2013 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/07/2013 AT 5:30 PM ET
The Internship is a dead-end job and Violet & Daisy is a snore, but PEOPLE’s critic says This Is The End is worth waiting out a dull weekend to see next Wednesday.
Skip This Unless You’re Really Bored
It’s not that The Internship is such a horrible movie. It’s just so lazy. The ostensible comedy brings Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson back together eight years after their hit Wedding Crashers, struggling in vain to reclaim past glory.
This time they play sad sacks Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson), watch salesman rendered obsolete by the fact that everyone in this century checks the time on their phones. Desperate, Billy has the ridiculous but brave idea of kick-starting their lives by becoming Google interns. You can write the rest of the movie from there.
Actually, that would be a valuable screenwriting exercise: Do a draft of the most cliché, trite story you can think of about two old dudes who’ve been put out to pasture joining a crew of super-smarties. Make sure the kids are insecure and resent competing for permanent gigs with the elderly. Throw in tons of ’80s pop culture – a competition plot from Revenge of the Nerds, let’s say, and a stream of references to Flashdance. Then add a love interest who’s a thirty-something naughty-librarian type (Rose Byrne).
Your script will look exactly like this movie, but I’ll still bet your version is funnier.
Oh, I laughed a few of times – once at a joke about parental abuse and once at someone who was drunk. (I always laugh at people in movies who are drunk or high. It’s an involuntary reflex. Don’t judge me.) But rarely did I giggle at anything Vaughn or Wilson had to say.
That breaks my heart, because I’m old too. But it’s almost impossible to root for dudes so inconceivably detached from modernity that they call it getting “on the line.” My grandmother is more tech-savvy than that. Hell, everybody’s grandmother is more tech-savvy than that.
But I did learn something terrifically valuable from The Internship: We all need to work at Google. Absolutely, the whole movie is a love letter to the company, but it’s less of an ad for their products than for their work environment.
It’s one thing to read about free food and nap pods, it’s another to see it and writhe with envy at the “Googliness” of it all. (Yes, “Googliness” is a real thing. I checked.)
It’s too late for me, but you’d be well served by saving those two hours of The Internship, and re-watching Wedding Crashers. Or better yet, polish that resume and give Google a call. Do I even need to mention that they play Quidditch in their down time? Apparently I did.
Skip This Too
Violet & Daisy
Once upon a time, Saoirse Ronan played a girl named Hanna: a very young, very lethal little miss. And she was so good being bad. It’s a pity that she can’t capture the same killer instinct as a teen hitwoman, alongside Alexis Bledel, in this boring black comedy.
Ronan is Daisy, the lesser partner to Bledel’s Violet. We don’t know how they got into the hired killer racket, we only know that it’s a miracle they’re still alive. Take their next job, for instance: While waiting for their target (James Gandolfini) to come home, they decide to take catnaps. (He lets them sleep, then bakes them cookies.)
Yes, it’s twee, and as affected as they come (the girls get milk mustaches with their cookies), but that’s not the film’s biggest crime. It’s just so dreadfully dull, as Violet and Daisy come to new understandings about their friendship, while dithering over whether, when and how to make the hit.
And why are they doing this? They need the money so they can buy new dresses from the Barbie Sunday collection. You should use yours for something besides Violet & Daisy.
Watch This – on Wednesday
This Is the End
Party next week at James Franco’s house! Just a couple of minor caveats:
1. Nobody eat the Milky Way. It’s Franco’s “special food.”
2. Stay away from Michael Cera. He’s a crudnugget best to be avoided.
3. Should a massive sinkhole open up in the front yard, heralding the end of the world, you want to make sure you’re not standing next to Rihanna. Or Aziz Ansari. Or Paul Rudd. You know what? Just stay in the house.
But definitely come to Franco’s, because This Is The End, which opens next Wednesday (June 12), is the funniest movie of this young summer. It’s also raunchy, foul and a total payoff for fans of Superbad and Pineapple Express.
The movie stars Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, all playing versions of themselves. (I’m pretty sure the real Cera wouldn’t blow cocaine in a stranger’s face, unless politely asked.) They’re the survivors after L.A. goes up in flames, a blue light airlifts random people into the firmament and that sinkhole claims the rest of the partygoers.
Mainly, the film observes the survivors in the petri dish that is Franco’s house, with McBride as the primary pathogen, hilarious in his limitless self-regard. But everyone in This Is The End is funny, with Franco creepily crushing on Rogen, Rogen annoyed that Baruchel didn’t want to come in the first place, and Baruchel despising Hill on general principle.
But underlying all that Armageddon rage is a real sweetness that carries through most of this crew’s films, like the aforementioned Superbad and Pineapple Express, which get nice shoutouts in the movie. I hate to go stereotypical, but This Is the End is just so charmingly, affably Canadian a deeply moral movie, in spite of its hard-R crudeness. And its message isn’t complicated: Be good to each other.
It’s just a shame that the film is such a boys’ club. Sure, Emma Watson has a delightful scene, but she mainly underscores how little female energy there is. What’s the deal, dudes? We ladies have just as many funny things to say about death, candy and our tingly bits as you do. Next time the world ends, we want in.