When you head out to watch a comedy, all you want is to have a good time laughing and that’s exactly what Office Christmas Party provides you. A party that is referred to as a “non-denominational holiday mixer” mixes up quite a lot of things – loud music, alcohol, an escort and a bipolar pimp, snow blower filled with cocaine, snowman costumes, money, love and a helluva lot of goof-ups.
In short (trying not to give away spoilers), the plot of the movie includes a hand full of office people trying to save their pretty unorganized tech organisation called Zenotek from getting shut. A company that is inherited by Clay (T.J. Miller), a fun-loving guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who would rather talk about Vin Diesel’s flying cars than discuss the company’s financial stats and his ‘all-work, no-play’, almost CEO sister, Carol (Jennifer Aniston), who wants to lay off staff and expenses to raise the profit of the company or maybe well, just shut it down. To save the company from both Carol and getting shut, Clay, Josh (Jason Bateman) – his confidant and Chief Technical Officer – and Lead Engineer Tracey (Olivia Munn), throw a mad party to impress Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), the guy who can provide them with a company-saving account.
With a star cast like this, expectations from a movie rise to the brim and when you go with such expectations to watch a movie it is hard for it to impress you, but this film that promises to throw an epic party for you does a decent job. It has a sympathy-inducing situation with a couple of implausible solutions and a huge reason to throw an over-the-top-party which is supposed to make everything alright, hopefully. The film is full of funny sequences and continuous mess-ups that keep you cackling throughout.
The company, Zenotek, has a boss that every employee wants but doesn’t seem to have an employee base that a company would want to have. Every actor and character has been worked on in detail and the performances score well. But it is just too much of talent to incorporate into one movie that is less than a couple of hours in duration, hence, you might feel that many characters were left unexplored and some have unnecessary screen time.
Jennifer plays the stubborn sister perfectly and Miller plays the role of her slacker brother with equal ease. Bateman and Munn maintain the required chemistry onscreen and look good together. Moving down the hierarchy of the organisation, other members deserve a good raise, too, specially the HR personnel. Mary (Kate McKinnon) as the HR head steals the show with her constant stereotyped lines and body language. Jillian Bell, as the pimp with a gun, shows up now and then to support the part of a nerdy hacker of the company (Karan Soni) who hires an escort to be his girlfriend in front of the members of his team. She is one of the characters who you might feel could have been better utilized. However, every character has their space and regardless of their screen time you will remember each one of them.
This is the third feature from the writer-director duo Will Speck and Josh Gordon after Blades of Glory and The Switch, and this one is also like the first two. They have reunited Jennifer and Bateman again after they starred in their previous directorial. The film has an extremely fun plot which hasn’t been utilized to its full potential. The trailers and glimpses of the movie make you think that it will be one heck of a party with the rowdiest of activities which is not quite true.
The film is more of a lighter and loony version of what it seems to be. Without numerous Censor beeps and cuts the film would look a lot better. They do make the movie feel incomplete.
Office Christmas Party is fun and filled with funny men and women who are given a permit to be hilarious – it is like a can-never-go-wrong kind of a plot. Watch the movie if you want to spend two hours of your life laughing. Also, watch it if you want to experience on-screen the party you have always dreamed of attending.