Intern: Michael Lange’s Look at Fashion Industry

Sundance Film Fest, January 2000–The fashion is ripe with possibilities for a good biting satire, but, with the exception of a few entertaining moments, Michael Lange’s Intern offers a disappointingly flat and familiar look at the glamour industry.

The only marketing hook for this pedestrian effort is Lolita’s Dominique Swain, who here plays Jocelyn, an overworked and underpaid intern who rises from the mailroom to more powerful boardrooms. Harmless saga might play the minor regional festivals, but has no theatrical future.

Director Lange gives Caroline Doyle’s and Jill Kopelman’s mundane script a brisk pace that helps for a while camouflage the routine, mostly witless observations about the colorful staff of Skirt, a hip fashion magazine, where both models and execs seem to be in a perpetual state of hysterics and anxiety. Central conceit is a mystery over the identity of the magazine’s spy, who has been leaking confidential stories and designs to Skirt’s aggressive competitors. The journey, which also details how Jocelyn’s falls in love for the first time, is so long that few viewers will remain involved by the time the conundrum is unraveled.

With Dominique Swain, Ben Pullen, Peggy Lipton, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin.