The Intern, Anne Hathaway

Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros.

There's a reason Nancy Meyers is Hollywood's most successful female director.

The Intern, in theaters Friday, will feel familiar to those who have watched her previous movies time and again. But unlike the majority of her work, The Intern's focus is light on romance. Rather, it chronicles an unlikely friendship that forms between Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the founder and CEO of a fashion e-commerce company, and Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a retiree who becomes Jules' sounding board. The 121-minute movie's supporting cast includes Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, Zack Pearlman, Andrew Rannells, Rene Russo and Nat Wolff, as well as Jason Orley, who is Meyers' former assistant.

The Intern is rated PG-13 and in theaters Friday.

Here's what critics have to say about Meyers' latest effort:

The Intern, Anne Hathaway, Andrew Rannells

Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros. Pictures

• "Funny, smart, warm, wise and completely winning comedies actually aimed at grown-ups don't come around often from the major studios these days," Deadline's Pete Hammond writes, "but thank God for Nancy Meyers, the writer/director/producer of The Intern, who works within the system and consistently comes up with a winning formula in this genre." Calling the film "infectiously likeable," he praises Meyers for not focusing on romance but for putting an "inventive spin on a workplace comedy." The Intern "is a genuine crowd pleaser in every way," he writes. "The pairing of De Niro and Hathaway is inspired and the film says a lot about living your life to the fullest, no matter what your age."

The Intern, Adam Devine, Robert De Niro, Zack Pearlman, Jason Orley

Warner Bros. Pictures

• "With its basic pitch and premise, The Intern could have been a sharp-toothed look at work and worth in the 21st Century, as a 70-year-old retiree enters a senior's internship program at a busy, bustling fashion dot-com run by a stressed-out prodigy of a founder. But this is a film by Nancy Meyers, whose Crate & Barrel comedies—full of lame characters, lavish furnishings, tastefully drab colors, no sharp edges—like It's Complicated and Something's Gotta Give have made her our foremost chronicler of the privileged class enjoying their privileges," The Wrap's James Rocchi writes. "Long on kitchen-design erotica and short on conflict, The Intern is a cozy slanket of a movie, one that wraps you up in a suffocating hug and tries to waterboard you with the milk of human kindness." For all its faults, Rocchi notes that The Intern "delivers what it promises, no more and no less, and faulting it for not being a rougher, tougher, smarter film about how much we all seem to live our lives through our work today would be like yelling at a spoon for not being a knife."

The Intern, Anders Holm

Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros.

• According to Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt, "A Nancy Meyers production isn't just a movie, it's a cream-toned, cashmere-swaddled universe unto itself—a grown-lady Narnia where there's a lid for every mildly neurotic pot, fresh-cut flowers for every ethically sourced side table, and a happy resolution to every First World problem her radiantly lit protagonists can supply. If you've seen Something's Gotta Give, It's Complicated, What Women Want, The Parent Trap or The'll undoubtedly have certain expectations of her latest, and they will almost certainly be met." While Hathaway's character is "underwritten," the actress' performance is "refreshingly unshowy." De Niro, by contrast, "seems a little lost," Greenblatt writes. "The Intern skims both humor and pathos without ever quite settling on either."

The Intern, Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro

Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros.

• "Behind at least one successful woman stands an older, wiser man. That, at least, is the chief takeaway from The Intern, a perky generation-gap fable that sneaks some surprisingly conservative gender politics into its stainless new world of online startups and amply product-placed Macbooks," writes Variety's Guy Lodge. Within the first half-hour, he says, "It can't have escaped viewers' attention that Meyers has fashioned The Intern as something of a generational backflip on The Devil Wears Prada, with the cannily cast Hathaway having graduated to the role of corporate fashion dragon. (She's even permitted, in a witty touch, to toss her jacket at Ben in the blasé manner of Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestley.) The difference, of course, is that Jules hasn't quite Priestley's time-hardened unflappability, while De Niro is no hapless naif a la Andie Sachs: The balance of authority between them is awkward from the get-go, as Jules complains that her well-seasoned intern is 'too perceptive.' The turning point, as in Prada, is when home-work boundaries are crossed." While both stars "can perform this kind of personality-led comedy on cue, but also tease out unscripted hints of inner conflict when so inclined," he argues it's Hathaway who "does particularly well in a role that frequently draws direct attention to its own unlikeability."

The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Farber praises pairing Hathaway with De Niro on the big screen. "Fortunately, there is no hint of romance between the two characters; it's more of a friendship and professional relationship, which turns out to benefit both of them," he writes. The movie "bears a resemblance" to 1987's Baby Boom, which Meyers co-wrote, but it "was a lot funnier and sharper" than The Intern. "Given the vacuity of the script, it must be admitted that Hathaway achieves something of a triumph. She's always engaging and keeps the character on a human rather than superhuman scale," he writes of the Oscar winner. "De Niro has demonstrated his flair for comedy in such films as Meet the Parents, Analyze This and The King of Comedy, but this role is too constricted to allow him to break free."

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