Office Christmas Party walks a fine line between being a goofy holiday comedy and being completely obnoxious. Thankfully, it’s more humorous than cringe-inducing as it offers up exactly what you would expect from an over-the-top Christmas party that gets way out of control; plenty of laughs.
Server company Zenotek hasn’t been having a great year, financially, and Chicago branch manager Clay (T.J. Miller) and his right hand man, Josh (Jason Bateman), want to throw a party to pick people’s spirits back up. Unfortunately his sister and CEO of the company Carol (Jennifer Aniston) sees this as a waste of money and demands that the party be cancelled and threatens to shut the branch down, calling Clay a terrible manager. A potential new client, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), could bring millions to the company, but they have doubts that a big company like Zenotek could give them the personal attention a smaller company could. In an effort to save the branch from being closed and to prove to his sister that he is more than capable of being in charge, Clay decides that the party is back on and invites Walter so that he can see how much of a family they all our in the hopes of getting his business.
Office Christmas Party is exactly what you would expect out of a raunchy R-rated comedy. It doesn’t try to sell you an overly complex story with deep character development or some heartwarming message. It simply wants to make you laugh. And it does so quite successfully I would say. The film starts off slow, but once the party gets started the antics continue to grow bigger and bigger.
T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman, and Jennifer Aniston lead the film, but it’s the supporting cast that garners to most laughs. Kate McKinnon plays the uptight personnel from HR and is the straight edge of the film but she occasionally lets her wild side out in awkward fashion. Jillian Bell is hilarious as Trina, a pimp who offers up one of her girls to an employee who needs to show off his “girlfriend” to his fellow coworkers. Rob Corddry is the office asshole who also happens to work in Customer Service. There are all these various characters that have their individual moments to shine.
We’re currently in the heart of Oscar season where many of the films being released are geared towards serious subject matters and serious performances. Office Christmas Party is a reminder that films can be fun and that there doesn’t need to be some deeper meaning to everything. Sometimes a laugh is just a laugh.