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Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party

Released 7 December 2016
Director(s) Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry

Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Dan Mazer

Guymon Casady, Daniel Rappaport, Scott Stuber
Origin United States
Running Time 105 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating 16

Yule be sorry.

When did chaos become a substitute for wit in American screen comedy? Well, it was probably around the time that Todd Phillips and his Hangover crew wrecked a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Since then, funny dialogue and believable relationships have taken a back seat to comedy drug taking and the flashing of genitals. Bringing this tedious recipe to the Holiday season are directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the team behind the enjoyably silly Blades of Glory. Office Christmas Party is about as fun as your actual Christmas party; that is, not very fun at all. It's a couple of hours spent in the company of people you're not very fond of, listening to the same old stories and terrible Christmas music.

After his tycoon father died, irritating man-child Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) inherited the Chicago branch of an ailing tech company and has been running it into the ground ever since. His successful, CEO sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston), threatens the branch with closure if he doesn't turn things around. Along with his second in command Josh (Jason Bateman), Clay has the idea of wooing a potential client by throwing an over the top office Christmas party. Chaos ensues.

Here's the thing about random chaos – it's really dull to watch. Judging from the outtakes that run through the credits, the talented cast had a great time filming but none of this fun translates onto the screen. In fact, the film has the effect of making every single one of that talented cast either incredibly annoying or mind-numbingly boring. Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry, Jillian Bell, Randall Park – not one of them comes out of this with any glory. For this we can blame the lack of script. As escalating party pranks take up the vast majority of the running time, actual jokes are few and far between.

Office Christmas Party has an unpleasantly desperate approach to comedy and will not brighten up anyone's festive season. Go back and watch The Office Christmas party episodes instead – at least that brand of awkward desperation is funny.

- Linda O'Brien