You can already look at the title “Office Christmas Party” and soon it’ll spell out where your expectations are going to be set. But even with a low bar being set in stone, Office Christmas Party still somehow manages to disappoint. You can’t seriously look at a title like “Office Christmas Party” and expect anything more than a crude sex-crazed comedy about a party that happens to be within an office setting during Christmastime, but even on that level it doesn’t seem like it has enough to sustain its running time of 105 minutes. At the very least one can be thankful enough that it isn’t the sort of mess that Project X was but that’s the most a movie like Office Christmas Party can really be given.
Starring T.J. Miller and Jennifer Aniston as a brother and sister in charge of the Chicago branch of a company called Zenotek with opposing views on how the workspace should be run, hijinks only ensue when their quarterly quota has not yet been fulfilled and thus the business is put at risk. In order to save the company, Clay (Miller) decides to throw a large party as a means of keeping the employees in their place and as one would expect, everything goes way out of hand from there. If any real semblance of a story was present in Office Christmas Party was ever to be found, it would be in the fate of the company at the hands of the party and whether or not their deal has been secured because someone who has enough money to keep the business running gets a good impression of the company, by having a mere good time partying with the other employees.
For a movie whose title is as generic as “Office Christmas Party,” what one would expect is for most of the film to spend time showing us how the party spirals out of control, and I suppose that’s what we’re supposed to find funny? We aren’t invited to join, but watch as an out-of-control party goes down the drain through sex, drugs, and farts – I suppose that’s the joke that bears our attention as we watch nameless employees outside of the main cast get themselves involved in. At least unlike Project X, which just revels in the debauchery without even trying to tell a story – there’s at least a semblance of structure coming from what is set to come for the company afterwards through Miller, Bateman, Aniston, McKinnon, and Munn but their characters are boring. A movie that promised an “office Christmas party” doesn’t seem to spend enough time with the party, because we’re only going through the worst of an out-of-control party being celebrated by privileged folk without consequence.
I probably shouldn’t be wasting my time talking about what it was that I hated about Office Christmas Party because there isn’t much good to be found inside of merely watching a party explode to such an unbelievable extent if it isn’t even interested in making us care what goes on. I can’t really think of anything about Office Christmas Party that made me laugh, because I detested its characters and what it celebrated – for all it left us with is a meaningless bore. If you come into Office Christmas Party expecting a party, it’ll be almost like Project X in the sense that you’re only watching a clip show of the worst bits of a party you weren’t invited to. It isn’t as bad as said film, but given how that’s what this film is building itself on for a good 105 minutes, you can go to an actual party if you want something more productive to be done with your time.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Paramount.
Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Spech
Screenplay by Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Dan Mazer
Produced by Scott Stuber, Guymon Casady, Daniel Rappaport
Starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry, Kate McKinnon, Jennifer Aniston
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 105 minutes