Office Christmas Party is a typical party-comedy film that probably won’t leave a lasting impression, however it’s an enjoyable ride.
Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) plans an epic office Christmas party in order to save his tech company’s branch from being shut down by his hard-nosed sister (and company CEO) Carol (Jennifer Aniston), when hilarity ensures.
American party films are a dime a dozen, so what separates Office Christmas Party from the rest? Well not much, but anyone with a relaxed sense of humour will get a few good laughs out of it. The comedy isn’t exactly unique, mixing a blend of crudeness and stupidity, which generally make for a good time, even though it’s been done plenty. The film features lots of jokes that are fairly stale, and others, while not too dissimilar, will get you laughing out loud.
The good laughs mostly come down to the timing and delivery from the actors, whom are all experts at that craft. T.J. Miller shines in his role, providing humour at every turn. Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell are the two other standouts, and the rest of the supporting cast that includes many familiar faces all pull their weight equally. Less impressive is Jason Bateman, who for the umpteenth time plays the everyman character with the most common sense. The actor has unfortunately been typecast in these roles, which is a shame as he has more talent than what we’re usually shown. Olivia Munn falls into the same category for this film, serving as the Bateman character’s token love-interest, without really having the opportunity to steal any scenes.
The film’s best moments come after the titular Christmas party begins. Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck do a great job of creating an epic party environment, with plenty of debauchery taking place. It’s almost common knowledge that corporate Christmas parties have the tendency to get out of hand, and the directors just push that theme to the limit in this film, with mixed results. Mixed in that some jokes work really well where others fall flat, potentially splitting the audience. It’s the type of humour where if you have any knowledge of what to expect prior to seeing the film, then you may get more out of it. If you’re going in without a clue, then it could go either way. At the end of the day though, all comedy is subjective, so each individual person should get something different out of it.
Office Christmas Party doesn’t rank anywhere high in the annals of party-movie history, however it does make for a good, guilty-pleasure night of viewing, as long as you have a sense of humour.
Fifth collaboration between Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. They previously starred together in The Break-Up (2006), The Switch (2010), Horrible Bosses (2011), and Horrible Bosses 2 (2014).