The Intern Movie Review

Many people look forward to retirement. After years of the daily grind and the stress that work brings, retirement feels like a dream. There is no blaring alarm clock to wake you up at the crack of dawn, there is no boss hanging around your desk and you are without coworkers with a junior high school mentality. To some it is a dream, but to others, it is a void that begs to be filled.

In the new release, The Intern, Ben (Robert De Niro) is a 70-year-old retiree who has tried to fill his time every which way possible. But he is still bored. Seeing an ad for a company looking for senior citizen interns, Ben applies and is accepted. Millennial generation Jules (Anne Hathaway) opened her fashion e-commerce business 18 months ago. She did not foresee how quickly the company would become a success.

Like many women, Jules is balancing work, marriage and motherhood.  Her success in keeping all three on track at the same time is not going too well. Like many retirees, Ben is not only adjusting to the new work mentality, but also to the technology that has become ingrained in our daily lives.

Every genre has its stalwart filmmakers. For the rom-com and comedy genres, Nancy Meyers is one of those filmmakers.  This film has all of the hallmarks of a Nancy Meyers film. But that does not mean it as good as some of her previous films.

My problem with the film is that certain scenes felt very clunky. Others felt like they should have been left for the extras section of the DVD. The movie is not completely horrible. There are some very funny scenes and some scenes that felt true to everyday life. Hathaway and De Niro have decent chemistry. And part of it was shot in Brooklyn, which is always a good thing.

Do I recommend it? This film is a maybe for me. Perhaps I should have waited to get it on DVD from the library instead of seeing it in theaters.

The Intern is presently in theaters. 



The Debt Of Tamar Book Review

Destiny is a strange concept. It can, at one point, bring two people together, tear them apart and then bring them back together centuries later.

The Debt Of Tamar by Nicole Dweck, is about a couple brought together during the 16th century, pulled apart and then brought back together in modern-day New York City.

In the 16th century Ottoman Empire, Murad is the Muslim heir to the throne. Tamar is the daughter of the prince’s most respected counselor. She is a Jew whose parents barely escaped the flames of the Inquisition. They are young, in love and eager to start a life together. But despite her parent’s loyalty and appreciation of the new life they have built in Turkey, having a son-in-law who is not of the Jewish faith is not something they are looking forward to. Tamar is sent away. Murad spends the rest of his days pining for the love his youth. He dies many years later with the all too brief memories of their time together fresh in his mind.

Centuries later, Selim Osman is the last living heir of the ruling family of the Ottoman Empire. His life has not been an easy one. Upon hearing a medical diagnosis of cancer, he flies to New York City for treatment. In the hospital room in New York with Selim is a man with a heavy past. His daughter, Hannah, an artist, is trying to crack the code that is her father. Hannah and Selim are brought together, as were Murad and Tamar centuries before. But the past has a way of inserting itself into the present and Hannah and Selim must contend with both.

This book was recommended to me and I am glad it was. If the sign of a good book is that I wished for a slightly longer train ride, then this is a good book. Writing a historical novel is a challenge for many writers, as there is a delicate balance between an engaging narrative and ensuring that the details of the period are accurate. Ms. Dweck conquered that challenge seemingly without a struggle. While the last few pages bewildered me, overall, it was a great read and I highly recommend it.



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