Dodgeball was some kind of masterpiece, right? So it stands to reason that The Internship – a Dodgeball-shaped object featuring rival teams of Google interns – ought to be a masterpiece too. No? But it has to be hilarious, right? How about vaguely tolerable? Funnier than dead kittens, maybe?
Oh dear. As much as we'd like hail Messrs Vaughn and Wilson's Wedding Crashers reunion as a guilty pleasure, the kindest thing that might be said of The Internship is that it improves on The Watch. But only because that film wasn't nearly as funny as dead kittens.
For all the real world product placement (Google this, Google that, Sergey Brin) the film is composed exclusively from Things That Could Never Happen In The Real World. If, for example, one of us lowly mortals were to arrive at a Google recruitment drive for interns – indentured servitude, yay – we might reasonably expect to be escorted from the premises for a series of wildly inappropriate remarks: yes, we will date fellow interns and take home food from work.
But this is a Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson buddy picture, a place where wildly inappropriate behaviour is deemed maverick, unorthodox and plucky. And so the lateral-thinking pair wind up in Google Inc for a comedy The Onion scathingly predicts will be the biggest of 2005.
It's a good joke, better than any of the gags in the actual film. But it's a conservative estimate. Many of quips offered up by The Internship (Flashdance references, anyone?) precede 2005 by a good decade or two. The loose-limbed plot – Vince Vaughn learns to be a computer geek, his team of computer geeks learn to be like Vince Vaughn – might have been pilfered from a Rodney Dangerfield campus comedy cira 1985. And the queasy sentimentality ("You guys gotta start believing") predates Mr Babbage's engine.
Won’t somebody type 2013 into a search engine? Slavitude at Google suddenly looks appealing by comparison.