Boyhood · Faith · Family · Manhood · Movie Review · Movies

The Intern – Review

The_Intern_PosterThe Intern is the new movie by writer and director Nancy Meyers. It follows widower Ben Whittaker, played by Robert De Niro, who finds that retirement is just not fulfilling without some sense of purpose or feeling needed. So he applies for a senior intern program at a local internet company run by Jules Ostin, played by Anne Hathaway, who created the company just a year before and is now a sensation. The movie is charming and full of poignant themes.

The Purpose of Age

Sadly in America, those of retirement age are seen as past their prime in more ways than one. It’s as though you reach 65 and you’re no longer of use to the rest of the world. The Intern wonderfully shows just how beneficial age is, for with it come experience and wisdom that cannot be replicated without the request years.  The retired generation have spent their lives working, supporting families, running companies and gaining knowledge that should be respected, tapped into and revered for the treasure it truly is. Ben’s hard work and years of maturity begin to show their quality and rub off on those around him. It’s a reminder to young and old that retirement does not equal pointlessness or purposelessness, it’s just an opportunity to affect others with the time you have left.

Purpose is something that every human being needs to feel they have, no matter what part of life they find themselves in. Ben struggles with the futility of his activities in retirement and lack of connection with others. Life is meant to be lived with purpose and in community with others and Ben is able to find that in the internship program. He integrates himself into the culture, impacting it for the better thought being himself sharing his worldly sophistication. The sage wisdom he is able to offer those around him is invaluable, making him indispensable personally and professionally.

The Art of Manhood

Look and learn, boys, because this is what cool is. How in one generation have men gone from guys like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to…? -Jules Ostin

One of the biggest themes in the movie is the lamentation over the loss of manhood in boys today. Jules asks if maybe when girls were taking part of “Take your daughter to work” days and being encouraged to be they’re best, if boys got forgotten. Now obviously, girls being encouraged to be all they can be is important, but it does seem that boys have been lost in the shuffle. Boys, like girls, need to be nurtured and encouraged to grow and excel. We live in a world where boys don’t seem to become men, they just become larger boys, who now have to worry about shaving. Obsessed with Xbox achievements and porn, the art of manhood is slowly dying.


It shouldn’t be surprising. With so many boys growing up without a strong male role model in their life, they are left to trying to discern for themselves what it means to be a man. As boys look around, there is not much help in the media or popular culture. Long gone are the days of John Wayne and Ronald Reagan where men acted like men and treated others with respect. Now we are awash in narcissistic man/boys who promote the thug life or slackerism. Boys need men to help show them the way to manhood, to model for them what it looks like and the ways to effectively live it out.

This is the beauty of The Intern. Ben shows though is actions the legitimacy of manhood in the world today and the reason it’s needed. And on top of that, he clearly illustrates that chivalry and respect for women are not only compatible but something desperately needed. It’s a call to arms for men everywhere to act like men, respect women and be their for others. Not only are older men needed, they are essential in passing on what it means to be a man to the next generation.


The Intern is not a perfect movie, the ending is a bit abrupt but the themes in the movie are too important to miss. It’s well worth your time, so find a friend, see it with your grandparents or parents and be reminded of the importance of all generations.

Boyhood · Faith · Family · Film · Movie Review · Movies

Boyhood – Review


Boyhood is the newest film by Richard Linklater who is known for diverse films such as Dazed and Confused, School of Rock and the Before trilogy. This film follows the life of Mason, a young boy growing up in the new American family, a broken one. Seen through his eyes and spanning the 12 years from ages 5 to 18, Boyhood also has the distinction of being filmed over those same 12 years. One of the highlights is watching the natural progression of the characters as they truly age with time. The children go through every awkard stage of development as the parents descend into age’s inevitable trap. It is a unique and special film.


This film is aptly named Boyhood as everyone in the film male and female, young and old, is caught in a perpetual childhood with no guide to full adulthood. The grown-ups may be older, but they are just as lost as everyone else, absentmindedly bouncing from one thing to another while dragging their children along like emotional baggage they’ve inadvertently collected. There is a beautiful ruination in Boyhood as we witness the aimlessness of the characters. No one has any clear idea of the meaning of life or anything resembling a purpose. It’s a sad picture of the lives so many lead and haphazardly pass on to their children.

There is no one to help this boy become a man. All the men he has in his life, in this span of time are petty, immature, some drunk and dangerous or just absent. They are locked into an uninterrupted boyhood, lost as to the meaning of being a man. Without a foundation of faith or belief in God, these men are left to wander the wastelands of video games, ridiculous dreams and booze. They shirk responsibility, hoping to find something better just over that next horizon. It’s utter lostness. Manhood has to be passed from one man to another and there is not one true man in the film. (Except Mason’s dad’s, second wife’s father, who is shown to be an attentive father, husband and grandfather. He and his wife are down home, God-loving people, yet the main characters mock the notion of being a “God person.”)

The most ironic scene and yet the most moving comes near the end of the film. Earlier, Mason’s mom encourages a young hispanic teen who is working at a manual labor job outside their home to go to school. She tells him he is smart and could truly make something of himself if he gets an education. As Mason is heading off to college, his mother and sister accompany him to lunch at a restaurant where the manager comes over to introduce himself only to find that it’s that same teen, now grown up. Because of her words, he has studied English, gone to community college and is finishing his bachelor’s degree. He thanks her for her kindness and tells her children to listen to her because she’s a wise woman. What’s so ironic is that this is the most moving scene in the movie and it’s not between Mason and his mother, but between her and a stranger. She’s had more of a directing, helpful influence on this unknown boy than her own. Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Yet in Boyhood, none of the adults know the way their children should go, since they themselves are essentially lost in limbo, having adult bodies with the minds of children.


Boyhood is an important film to see; it’s a masterful achievement in cinematic production. Each vignette in Mason’s life transfers seamlessly to create the illusion that 12 years passes in just under 3 hoursIt also shines a light on the state of the American family. It’s broken and mangled on the rocks of selfishness and the endless adolescence a majority of people find themselves locked in. Children grow up directionless as they are not shepherded to adulthood, but left to muddle through with no purpose or true hope for something better. The movie will leave you with a melancholy unease as exemplified in the closing song that says,

Let me go
I don’t wanna be your hero
I don’t wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight with everyone else

Your masquerade
I don’t wanna be a part of your parade
Everyone deserves a chance to
Walk with everyone else

While holding down
A job to keep my girl around
And maybe buy me some new strings
And her and I out on the weekends

And we can whisper things
Secrets from our American dreams
Baby needs some protection
But I’m a kid like everyone else

There is hope, but it is up to parents to pass it on to their children as they raise them up in the way they should go and to do that, the parents need hope from above.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1-5 ESV)