Office Christmas Party

2.5 Stars

It’s Christmastime, which means it’s time for another broad, slightly inappropriate holiday comedy (or three). Of this year’s entries into the inappropriate holiday comedy field, Office Christmas Party may boast the most straightforward (or generic) title, but it’s also got a cast filled with people audiences know for at least one type of role, and for good reason. So how does Office Christmas Party fare?

Clay (T.J. Miller) is the head of the Chicago branch of ZenoTek, a tech company that was run by his father before his death. Clay’s sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston) is now the company’s interim CEO, and she’s ready to make the Chicago branch part of her downsizing run unless they can somehow turn things around in the few days left before Christmas. Desperate to save the branch, Clay teams up with his chief technical officer Josh (Jason Bateman) and the company’s tech wizard, Tracey (Olivia Munn), to carry out an insane plan: throw an out-of-control holiday party in order to impress the representative of a major client (Courtney B. Vance).

The setup is hardly original, so it falls to the comedic talent to carry the movie. For the most part, the actors hired have played variations on their roles before, and they’re able to do what they do well. There’s little in the way of surprises, though Vance’s transformation to overworked representative to coked-out wild man is pretty surprising. Largely, though, the film boasts a talented cast doing what they do well, with Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell making the most of their supporting roles. If you’re looking for “inappropriate” laughs, combined with somewhat predictable office romances and a last-minute problem-solving solution that could only work in a movie, there are certainly worse ways to go.

Office Christmas Party • Rating: R (for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and graphic nudity) • Runtime: 105 minutes • Genre: Comedy • Cast: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, t.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, Jennifer Aniston, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry, Sam Richardson, Randall Park • Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck • Writers: Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, Dan Mazer • Distributor: Paramount
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