When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand...
I had a good many laughs throughout this film and walked away feeling good. Although ‘Office Christmas Party’ is essentially a story revolving around a ‘comedy of errors’ it provides a solid back-story that with a stretch, seems quite plausible. Regardless, this film is stacked with laughs that are sure to tickle the sense humour of most.
Jason Bateman, who plays a straight-laced office manager, is burdened with the task of keeping a once thriving IT Chicago business from going under the axe. In my opinion he’s quite possibly the most ‘English’ American comical actors. He often plays the awkward straight guy in ridicules scenarios very well. Jennifer Aniston, the intense CEO with a chip on her shoulder, plays the part of the metaphorical axe wielder who is determined to close Bateman’s struggling branch down no matter what. To further complicate matters there is sibling rivalry involved. Bateman’s boss, the brother of Aniston’s character, has a big heart and loves his staff but is far from being in tune with the world of business. He has lived the life of the favoured son. Their late father, the founder of the IT business, has indulged him and not his sister which has created a family rift. The characters are slightly satirical and crazy, a little over the top but believable in their roles.
Office Christmas Party isn’t afraid of using the tried and true formulas seen in most productions of this nature such as, ‘The Hang-over’ and ‘Bad Moms’ which have proven to be box office successes in the past. And although, in our hearts, we kind of have an instinctive gut feeling about where the outcome might be heading, I found that the thickness of the plot managed to keep me wondering how this sinking ship scenario was ever going to right itself.
There are some very funny performances from a well-chosen cast including T. J. Miller who plays Aniston’s brother. Kate McKinnon, from Saturday Night Live fame, nails her character perfectly. She is probably the stand-out comedian in the movie who I thought was fantastic. Courtney B. Vance, who plays an aloof IT business genius, seems to be quite at home in the role of a ‘pent-up do righter’ who turns. I enjoyed this film. It’s filled with funny laugh out loud moments but also has a sobering feel good story thread which keeps it grounded. The pace is not outrageously fast like so many comedies of late, which is not a bad thing as it takes time to establish a good story line. Jason Batman provides a steady anchor and the voice of reason which guides us through a somewhat crazy night.
I would certainly enjoy recommending this film to anyone up for a good laugh. Definitely suitable for those who work in the corporate world.
DVD Releases: 22nd March 2017
Duration: 105 minutes
Starring: Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
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).
Matt Walsh, Sam Richardson, and Randall Park all appeared on the show Veep (2012).
The title of the movie was inspired by an SNL skit called "Office Christmas Party"
This will be the first live-action DreamWorks Pictures release to be distributed by Paramount Pictures since 2012's "A Thousand Words."