The Schmooze

The Banality of Movies About Google

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange stole my intended headline for this post: “The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil.’” Or maybe it was a New York Times copy editor, who gave that title to Assange’s opinion piece accusing Google of technocratic imperialism. Either way, now I can’t use it for fear of plagiarism… or at least, a perceived lack of creativity.

The headline, a riff on the search giant’s motto, would have been perfect to sum up my impression of the new comedy, “The Internship.” “Wedding Crashers” duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play nearing-middle age buddies and out-of-work analog-era watch salesmen, who manage to get into Google’s internship program, improbably prove themselves (who says you can’t teach an old dog some new hi-tech tricks?), and teach a group of geeky misfit college students some life lessons along the way. The movie is such a banal, formulaic and predictable comedy that it most certainly did not merit rushing to catch an advance screening at a movie theater located literally next to the Google campus in Mountain View, California.

I guess I was hoping for a meta-experience akin to the one I had while watching “The Social Network” at the very same theater, which is also not far from Facebook headquarters. But then again, what was I thinking? This is a story co-written by Vince Vaughn and directed by Shawn Levy of “Night at the Museum” and “Date Night” fame. Director David Fincher, Academy and Emmy Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin and Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg came nowhere near this production.

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The Banality of Movies About Google

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