I watched this movie last night because I need something sappy and feel-goody that would make me go to sleep with a smile on my face. I ended up scratching my head a bit and here’s why in 5 points.
SPOILER ALERT (although this is a very predictable movie so take that as you will)
- Jules Ostin (Hathaway) is a hugely successful internet entrepreneur with 220 employees, who is ‘an hour late for every meeting’ because neither she nor her PA can time manage. It was a tad unbelievable. She has a team of capable people around her, sure, but with her apparent ditziness how did she get so lucky with the right employees to help her? How did she not hire at least one douchebag who takes advantage of the fact she can’t find her ass with both hands? She didn’t have a killer instinct. She was very bloody nice for a mogul. I’m calling bullshit.
- Jules’s relationship with her 70 year old intern, Ben, (De Niro) was creepy. There was certainly no suggestion of sexual tension, yet I was left cringing a few times at how all over him she was. Leaning her head on his shoulder. Sitting on a hotel bed with him while they were both wearing robes, in the middle of the night. Just…NO. She wouldn’t have done that with a 30 year old man because she would have known he’d get the wrong idea, so doing this with 70 year old Ben just made it seem like she didn’t see him as a man at all, but as a Eunuch or something.
- Further to point 2, Jules was Ben’s BOSS. She was overly familiar with him and that clearly made him feel weird and yet… it kept happening. Once again, if that were a younger man, her behavior could have been construed as flirtation or even harassment. But it was okay because the guy was 70? For some reason this didn’t sit well with me, especially not for a movie that seemed to be espousing the concept that older people are still vital and useful and have a lot to offer. I’m not suggesting that someone of Hathaway’s age should go for a man Ben’s age, but being that familiar and comfortable with him in an intimate situation went so far as to treat him as a woman or a gay man. Somehow it was insulting to him.
- Ben was totally unconvincing as a character. In the on-the-hotel-bed scene he declares himself the feminist in the discussion and starts talking about how her husband should just get behind her and what not. That’s all great, but I didn’t find it believable coming from a 70 year old guy who’d lived a very traditional life in business while his wife stayed home and kept house. Maybe I’m just not meeting the right senior citizens, but I’ve never known a man of that age to be so enlightened and I heard the female writer talking through his character, not his character being authentic.
- Jules’s husband cheats on her and she feels guilty because she spent so much time at work and that must be why it happened. Even in the end with the big tearful confession he makes he claims he ‘got lost’ because of her success and him having to stay home and be the caregiver to their kid. I get that. It happens to women too. ALL THE TIME. It’s not then used by them as an acceptable excuse to fuck one of the other dads at their kids school. The movie left me feeling as though I had to let the cheating slide—as Jules seemed willing to do—because poor old Matt felt emasculated by his wife’s success, when if a woman did that in the same situation she’d be crucified for not supporting her husband. No. Grow some real balls and be a partner to your wife or piss the fuck off Matt.
Maybe you liked this movie more than I did, but for me it was just a bit too strange.