Stars: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung | Directed by Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Josh Gordon and Will Speck, co-directors of ice-skating comedy Blades of Glory, re-team for another buddy comedy that once again mixes frat-boyhumour and heartfelt laughs – this time in a story set in the world of office politics. Think Animal House for the tech generation…
Office Christmas Party follows Clay Vanstone (Miller), the Chicago branch manager for Zenotek, an IT sales company. When Clay’s sister and CEO of the company, Carol (Aniston), threatens to shut his branch down due to the company not making enough profit, Clay and Josh (Bateman), his Chief Technical Officer, must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client (Vance) and close a sale that will save their jobs. Of course this being an R-rated comedy, it isn’t long before Clay and Josh’s plans – and the party – get way out of hand!
Despite a huge cast list, the core of this movie boils down to the trio of Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller and Olivia Munn – in a role that shouldn’t work (she plays the companies tech-savvy coder who spends her time trying to reinvent internet access) but thanks to Munn leaving her more usual “ditzy” persona aside and also thanks the great chemistry she has wth Bateman, Munn manages to pull it off. And that’s the thing with Office Christmas Party – Josh Gordon and Will Speck seem to get the best performances out of each and even person in the cast, no matter how small the role.
From Rob Corrdy’s customer service manager, Jeremy, who hates Zenotech and most of the people in the company; including Zenotech’s HR woman Mary, played by the scene stealing Kate McKinnon. Well I say scene-stealing but McKinnon almost steals the entire movie as the strict, bird loving, mini-van driving, flatulent HR manager. It truly is a joy to watch her at work, she gives her all as she literally inhabits the character and delivers a performance that blurs the line between acting and just plain crazy.
A funny, touching, comedy this is one film that is sure to make quite a few Christmas movie-watching lists in the future. Despite what other reviews have said, the only real disaster surrounding Office Christmas Party is the devastation at the Zenotech offices after this office party ends!