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“Maybe ‘The Internship’ was secretly funded by Bing.”

internshipThat is the New York Post’s closing zinger in its review of “The Internship,” the new movie starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (of “Wedding Crashers” fame) as two 40-something guys who get internships at Google. The comedy, opening Friday, doubles as a promotional vehicle for Google — and a pretty awful one at that, according to early reviews.

In fact, the Post and the New York Daily News find themselves in rare agreement, each giving the movie a single star.

USA Today contrasts the movie with “The Social Network,” pointing out that, even with Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of a conniving Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook comes off as an important and influential company. But after watching The Internship, “Not only do you feel embarrassed for the stars, the whole movie sets Mountain View back about 10 years.”

Not so, says Larry Page, the Google CEO, who gave the movie a thumbs-up on Google+ after seeing a preview. “Had a lot of fun hanging out with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and the whole team last night and watching the Google inspired movie The Internship!” he wrote, encouraging people to see it.

Google cooperated with the movie and worked closely with the filmmakers, at one point getting them to cut a scene from the script involving a crash of one of its self-driving cars, according to a CNN report.

Contrary to the sentiment from critics, Page says Google hopes the movie will help give computer science a better image. “I think the reason why we got involved in that is that computer science has a marketing problem,” he said last month, according to CNN. “We’re the nerdy curmudgeons.”

Are the critics right? And does the movie’s portrayal of life at Google ring true? We’re sending our own arbiter, GeekWire chairman Jonathan Sposato (a two-time Google veteran) to watch the movie and give us his take. Stay tuned for his assessment.

Some members of the GeekWire team will be watching the movie Friday at the 3:10 p.m. showing at the Majestic Bay theater in Ballard, and readers are welcome to join them for an afternoon of cinema. To find them, look for GeekWire’s Taylor Soper in his GeekWire shirt.

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