Its that time of the year when studios unleash their Christmas themed movies in a bid to cash in on the festive season, which in recent years has meant Hangover-style American comedies. Last year it was The Night Before, this year its Office Christmas Party.
So, is it any good?
I really wanted to like this film, but unfortunately its a classic case of all the best jokes appearing in the trailer, and even they weren’t that funny to begin with. The first issue is the misleading title; you’d think a film called Office Christmas Party would be all about said party, but in reality its more of a B-plot.
“Neither a great party movie or christmas movie, it falls somewhere in the uncomfortable middle ground”
Speaking of plot, it’s almost pointless explaining it, because the filmmakers themselves seem to lose interest in their own story as the movie goes on. The initial premise revolves around company CEO Carol (Jennifer Anniston) announcing her intentions to close the operating branch of her irresponsible brother Clay (T.J. Miller), prompting him and CTO Josh (Jason Bateman) to throw an epic christmas party in the hope of securing new business from a potential client and guarantee their future at the company. But in the end none of this really matters, the film wants to tell you that its message is about family and being there for one another but no one learns anything.Then there’s the characters. Jason Bateman once again plays the Everyman, and while he’s fine in the role, but a side character at best. T.J. Miller has quickly become the new Will Ferrell, and does his schtick to similar effect here, but his character learns nothing, except that he is bad at running a company. We should have followed Jennifer Anniston and Olivia Munn’s characters longer as they are by contrast far more interesting than their male counterparts.Office Christmas Party is neither a great party movie or christmas movie, it falls somewhere in the uncomfortable middle ground, which makes you wonder who exactly this film was made for in the first place. In a disappointing year thats already given us the completely unnecessary Bad Santa 2, it doesn’t inspire much hope for the future of the Christmas comedy genre.
Office Christmas Party is in Australian cinemas now
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