In a world of political correctness with the human resource department always looking over your shoulder, the wild holiday parties of the 20th Century have become taboo. Non denominational decorations and a quiet social gathering nibbling on cookies around the conference room table have become the norm. The new comedy Office Christmas Party looks to revive the idea of a wild bash with fellow employees cutting loose to celebrate another year in the books. The film boasts a large cast including Jason Bateman, Jennifer Anniston, Olivia Munn and T.J. Miller as the branch manager who decides to throw the massive party in order to get a major business deal done with a sales rep played Courtney B. Vance.
Everybody has wild stories about an employee get together that got out of hand, so the concept of Office Christmas Party would seem ripe with laughs and there are to a certain point. Once the ties get loosened and the Egg Nog begins to flow there are some legit laughs involving prostitutes, bags of drugs that look very similar to fake snow and car chases involving mini vans with the scene stealing Kate McKinnon at the wheel as the by the books HR Manger. T.J. Miller stands out as the slacker trust fund baby who’s trying to keep the office afloat. Miller gets to share some very funny scenes with Courtney B. Vance as an uptight client who the party has been thrown for in oder to get him to sign on the dotted line.
Office Christmas Party will definitely make you laugh at times, but other times the jokes fall completely flat and do not connect at all. A cause for the lack of humor could be the size of the cast and the amount of characters directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck throw at you. For every great character you meet at the party, four unfunny and pointless characters are introduced that take up valuable screen time. This time spent on stupid party attendees takes away from the actors in Office Christmas Party who are actually bringing the laughs like Miller and McKinnon.
The creators behind Office Christmas Party forgot to put together any kind of script and decided to just throw all these talented comedians in the mix expecting them to be funny. This formula works at times, but without a healthy funny bone in the form of a genuinely humorous screenplay the jokes get old over the 105 minute running time. Office Christmas Party does have a few laugh out loud moments, but still feels like a missed opportunity considering the actors involved.
Overall, I give Office Christmas Party 2.25 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell