Office Christmas Party: An Easy, if Predictable, Festive Flick
Jason BatemanJennifer Aniston...
Josh GordonWill Speck
In 0 Cinemas
Boasting a large cast of the who’s-who comedy, there’s a little bit more to Office Christmas Party than meets the eye. Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck – the duo behind 2007 Blades of Glory– the film’s drunken mischief and holiday madness makes for a relatively entertaining watch. The problem comes with tying the whole thing together into one cohesive package, leaving the story a little unfocused and sporadic in terms of comedy and laughs.
The story is centred on one Clay Vanstone (Miller); a dizzy manager of a struggling Chicago technology company called Zenotek. With his office failing to meet the forever-changing production goals set by his mean-spirited sister and interim CEO, Carol (Anniston), his branch is under threat of being shut down with his employees facing possible expulsion.
Desperate to make things work and make his employees, including the newly-divorced technical officer, Josh Parker (Bateman); office-manager and single mom, Allison (Bayer); lonely tech-head, Tracey (Munn) and office workhorse, Mary (McKinnon), happy, he needs to come up with a plan of how to double his figures and keep the branch open.
His only hope lies with Walter Davis (Vance); a client he must woo into signing a $14 million deal in order to keep the show running. After a failed presentation, however, Clay, along with his team of supporters, decides to go against Carol’s wishes of putting together an office Christmas party, and invite Walter to attend, hoping that a night of drinking will be enough to win him over.
Written by an army of writers, Office Christmas Party is as predictable as they come – but it’s also similarly comforting and easy. In fact, this is probably the biggest fault of the movie; it seems to be afraid to go all out and its R-rating isn’t really taken advantage of.
To enjoy Office Christmas Party is to embrace its colourfully painted premise with arms wide open, and although the comedy isn’t the sharpest, the most laughs come courtesy of Miller who seems to have been tasked of carrying the entire movie on his fragile comedic shoulders.
Spending more time focused on driving some of its clichéd plotlines and character relationships to light, instead of bringing emphasis on the humour and the hilarious office-party exploits, Office Christmas Party seems to be at odds with itself for most of its running time. Funny but, not completely focused, there are laughs to be had, but this certainly won’t be considered a Christmas classic in years to come.