This has been a pretty great year for feminism in film. In May we had Mad Max: Fury Road, which featured a diverse cast of women with more prominent speaking roles than the men. In July we had Trainwreck, Amy Schumer's hilarious but poignant feminist romantic comedy.
And in September we had...The Intern? If you had asked me two months ago if I thought The Intern would be a movie I would be legitimately excited over, I would have told you to leave me alone, because two months ago I was probably knee deep in a 72 hour X-Files binge. But last night I saw The Intern, at the urging of some friends whose opinions on movies (and life) I trust inherently.
I don't want to spoil anything: but this was a near perfect film. Taking a different tone of voice and spotlighting other aspects of inequality than Schumer's Trainwreck, The Intern highlights the struggle of the working woman in today's society. But before I get into the reasons why this movie was so wonderfully feminist, I have to remark on Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro's dynamic. To put it simply, they were pure magic together. Their relationship was based on mutual respect, and their interactions both within and without the workplace emphasized that with a little patience and a lot of respect, it is possible for older and younger generations to work together to make the world a better place.
There were moments when I found myself trying not to sob, and then found myself thinking, "What the HELL? In a romantic comedy?! With ROBERT DENIRO?!" Hathaway's Jules Ostin is a complex, imperfect, and wonderful feminist role model. She has a tortured relationship with her mother, a passionate relationship with her work, and a good but not always easy relationship with her family-- her daughter and her husband. She's not always confident, she makes mistakes, but (and this is the "but" that had tears rolling down my face) she knows her worth. I really do not want to spoil anything, because this movie was so full of delicious and unexpected surprises, but there was a moment when I was unsure if I liked where the rhetoric of this film was headed. And then, with a single line, Nancy Meyers completely turned it around. This movie was complex, funny, sad, and real. It dealt with meaty topics in a careful but thorough way, while also being extraordinarily entertaining. I don't want to overhype this or anything, but I think this film is proof that a movie can be a fun, girly "date movie" while also having substance and making you feel like the film industry isn't doomed after all.
Basically, go see The Intern.