Office Christmas Party

"Good"

Office Christmas Party Review


Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman reunite with The Switch directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck for a holiday comedy based on a story by the guys who wrote The Hangover movies. Yes, this is pretty much what you expect it will be: a clumsily written lark that strains for gross-out gags. But it also manages to keep the audience laughing, simply because the cast is up for it.

It's set in the Chicago branch of a technology firm, where the playful director Clay (T.J. Miller) has created a lively atmosphere but is losing money. So his CEO sister Carol (Aniston) drops in to tell him she's planning to shut down the branch. Clay and manager Josh (Bateman) have one last hope: to land a big client (Courtney B. Vance), so they invite him to their epic Christmas party, which is also designed to assure the staff that everything is fine. Helping with the plan are the IT expert Tracey (Olivia Munn) and the HR director Mary (Kate McKinnon). And no one is surprised when the festivities begin to spin crazily out of control.

Frankly, the party itself is the weakest thing about the movie, as it's blown up far beyond credibility, and never given much attention in the narrative. Instead, the through-line is the wacky caper involving the central characters, played by a gang of actors who are experts at improvisation, so they continually throw amusing bits of unexpected comedy at the audience. The winner is McKinnon, who is consistently hysterical, stealing every scene as she did in Ghostbusters. But Munn's acerbic wit and Miller's endearing nuttiness give her a run for her money. As does Rob Corddry as a chucklehead colleague. By comparison, Aniston and Bateman anchor the film as the vaguely more grounded figures. Although Carol is a pretty nasty piece of work, we have no doubt that everyone will wear her down in the end.

Thankfully, despite tendencies all the way through, the film never quite gives in to the gurgling undercurrents of sentimentality or sappy romance, remaining raucous and ridiculous right to the end. It's not particularly clever, the vulgarity feels vaguely desperate, and the plot never even gets out of first gear, but the free-wheeling atmosphere keeps it bouncing along enjoyably. And while there's nothing about this movie that's particularly memorable, the random ad-libbed silliness will probably do the trick for audiences in the mood to switch off their brains for a few hours over the holidays.

Watch the trailer for Office Christmas Party:



Office Christmas Party

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th December 2016

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks Pictures, Bluegrass Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Producer: Guymon Casady, , Scott Stuber

Starring: as Carol Vanstone, as Josh Parker, as Tracey Hughes, T.J. Miller as Clay Vanstone, as Mary, as Trina, Vanessa Bayer as Allison, Courtney B. Vance as Walter Davis, as Jeremy, Abbey Lee as Savannah, Sam Richardson as Joel, as Meghan, as Fred, Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Carla, Karan Soni as Nate, as Larry, as Ezra, as Drew, Andrew Leeds as Tim, Chloe Wepper as Kelsey, Erick Chavarria as Alan, Lynne Ashe as Rita, David Kallaway as Vlad, as Doctor, Fortune Feimster as Lonny, Nick Peine as Rodney, Michael Tourek as Alexei, Sonny Valicenti as Dean, Jessica Miesel as Shannon, Jackie Renee Robinson as Wendy, Todd Parker as Rob

Contactmusic


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