In this health and safety-obsessed age, office Christmas parties that spiral out of control are less common. But if you’ve ever woken up the morning after your festive bash with a splitting hangover and a vague feeling that you did something you shouldn’t have, Office Christmas Party is the film for you.
The premise is pretty simple: the underachieving Chicago branch of a big IT firm, headed up by CEO-from-hell Jennifer Aniston, is threatened with closure unless they can land one big new account. Despite being expressly forbidden from having a Christmas bash, division chief T.J. Miller – who also happens to be Aniston’s brother – and sidekicks Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn hit upon the idea of throwing an extravagant Christmas bash in a bid to impress prospective client Courtney B. Vance, a jaded executive who has hinted that he misses the Christmas business parties of old. Naturally, things don’t work out entirely to plan…
As gross-out gag-fests go, Office Christmas Party is a hit and miss affair, and a sub-plot involving a hooker (our own Abbey Lee) hired to be a nerd’s girlfriend for the evening is just an unnecessary distraction. However, a terrific cast helps paper over the weaknesses in the script: T.J. Miller steals the show as the dimwitted, party-loving boss, but there are also memorable turns from accomplished scene-stealers like Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry and Jillian Bell, while Vance enjoys himself immensely in a rare comedy role.
As with many real-life bashes, Office Christmas Party is nowhere near as much fun as you might have hoped for (or remember after you’ve sobered up), but at this stage, it looks the best bet for fans of politically incorrect festive flicks – and knocking back a few drinks beforehand will certainly help you get into the right party spirit.
In cinemas: December 8, 2016
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller
Directed by: Josh Gordon, Will Speck