Whenever the plot of a movie involves a huge party of some sort, what can you really expect out of them besides the traditional chaos and hijinks? Office Christmas Party says it for itself here. Clay (T.J. Miller) is the head of his late father’s company and when his sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston) decides to shut down their branch and fire everybody, they decided to plan this crazy Christmas party to hopefully impress Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson) to make a deal to make this all work. And the wacky shenanigans ensue.
There wasn’t any real excitement going into this though this could be a comedy that can be watched around the holidays. As a whole, this should’ve been better than it sounded to be like. Co-directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Blades of Glory, The Switch) did an alright job capturing people getting drunk and partying but ultimately failed to really get those jokes in tightly. Speak of partying, the party aspect of the film looked pretty cool, to be honest.
This cast alone did work well for the time given. Jason Bateman is fine when he’s doing these types of comedies. Jennifer Aniston as Miller’s sister should’ve gotten a lot of humor in her but her character is supposed to be a b*tch. Miller does plays the same character he does in Silicon Valley expect he’s the person in charge for once. He was probably the standout in this. Kate McKinnon was funny in Ghostbusters, but in this, she works for human resources and sadly, she didn’t get any huge laughs out as she works for human resources trying to keep things under control. Still love her, though. To some surprise, Olivia Munn wasn’t that bad as in the previous roles she was just eye candy. But she seems miscast here, but she worked well alongside with Bateman. What really didn’t work was that the story has been done a few times before.
For the most part, some things are hand wrapped to show this would happen and it did just that. Almost all of the jokes didn’t hit and their kind of predictable to say the least. Jillian Bell (Workaholics) is funny in other things, but she was really miscast as this pimp and the side story of that was dumb.
There was a chance that this could be a better version of Project X as going along with movies centered around parties, but it didn’t prove itself why it didn’t accomplish that. But some chuckles occurred here and there spread out and this is a really talented comedic cast. It’s just that this story could’ve been a lot funnier with this concept. So a good cast and some funny moments lead into a plot that’s pretty cliché with wacky shenanigans and kind of continues this year of Christmas comedies in the span of a month.
Office Christmas Party wasn’t really anything special. But it has some redeemable qualities that make this an okay Christmas comedy.