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Criticism | A Trainee

It's never too late to venture out and Robert De Niro shows us very well how this is possible in old age

If you know the American director and screenwriter Nancy Meyers, knows that her specialty is romantic comedies starring successful, intelligent, charming people who live in wonderful places. This feature is no different. Over the years, Nancy has been improving her skills as a screenwriter and director and adding more “content” in addition to “sugar” in her plots. In A Trainee we are introduced to the interaction between the old generation and the internet and other conflicts of different people who end up connecting throughout the film.

The plot features Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a 70-year-old widower who is not satisfied with the monotonous routine. After he lost his wife, Ben dedicated himself to learning other tasks to pass the time, such as cooking, speaking Mandarin and traveling to other places in the world. Tired of visiting his only son who lives on the other side of the country, Ben starts looking for something productive to do and after seeing an advertisement for a company that is hiring senior interns, Ben feels encouraged to try something new and succeeds very well. in the interviews thus guaranteeing the opportunity to apply for the internship on the fashion website. In this case, it is very clear that “work” is more for fun than a simple necessity.

Different than Jules Ostin, which is interpreted by Anne Hathaway, a strong, determined, independent woman, mother who has a busy routine and who at some point in life had a brilliant idea: to create a fashion website for women. Your venture is successful in a few months. Surprised by the rapid growth of the company, its partner, Cameron (Andrew Rannells), believes that it is necessary to hire a CEO to help better manage their enterprise - that is, someone to send them over - a decision that raises some doubts in Jules. In addition, your marriage is going through a difficult time. The husband who left his job and took care of the house and the daughter so that she could be more involved in his personal project, disappointed her. At that moment, we have the feeling that everything is collapsing. And it is in her intern that Jules finds the voice of wisdom and tranquility that she so badly needs.

Foto de Robert De Niro - Um Senhor Estagiário : Foto Robert De ...
Robert De Niro is impeccable and adorable in this quiet and light feature / Warner Bros

At first, Jules did not want an intern and at one point he even wonders if Ben would not mind being transferred to another area. However, he himself states that he prefers to be with her. De Niro takes his post as a mentor calmly even though he is an intern. Despite difficulties at the beginning of the internship, Ben persists and starts a beautiful friendship with the guys who work with him.

Throughout the plot, we can perceive the truth and sincerity in the interpretation of the characters. On the one hand we have a 70-year-old widower who worked as a supervisor in a company that printed phone books for 40 years, on the other hand we have a young woman, who owns her own business and who struggles to remain in the prominent place that for many women are difficult to reach and remain. Subtle as it may be, the plot shows us how difficult it is for a woman to gain a good position in her career and the suffering she goes through for it. Other women disparage her because she is responsible for a company and not her family and that does not mean that she is not a good mother or wife, quite the contrary, her family is one of her priorities. Here in this film, Anne remembers the times of The devil Wears Prada, in which some conflicts are similar as the troubled relationship with the partner who started to criticize her and not support her in search of her dream. However, she is the boss now and not the secretary. 

The relentless search for a CEO is not just for the company, but also a decision that would “save” your marriage. But her husband's infidelity is not Jules's fault. We realized that Matt (Anders Holm) feels his masculinity hurt, for being the “owner of the home” and at first he did not feel it, but then he found a way to vent his discontent with the direction that life as a couple provided him. 

There is an exchange, an admiration and a lot of respect in the relationship created between Jules and Ben and it seems that this preference for veteran actors for the director and screenwriter Nancy Meyers makes the formula that she applies in her plots only confirm that the old and the new are mix and it works very well. A Trainee it’s not like the iconic What Women Like (2000) and is much calmer than the novel Love Doesn't Take Vacation (2006), but in this feature we have a more mature construction, about self-knowledge, breaking stereotypes formed by a macho society that develop in a tied script and arrest the viewer from beginning to end with the charisma and the interaction between Anne and De Niro.

Thunder Wave note
The film has a well-constructed plot, light and that easily looks like a family on Sunday afternoon.


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