And here I thought Christmas parties were supposed to be fun. A nice and easy premise that had the potential to be funny; Office Christmas Party is the Grinch. It is said in Hollywood that comedy is harder to achieve than drama and when it seems like even the filmmakers themselves don’t care than certainly we the consumer aren’t going to either.
The setup is simple and believable enough; TJ Miller’s Internet Storage Branch is going under, not from his lack of trying, more just his lack of intelligence. His sister, played by Jennifer Aniston, is the newly appointed CEO after the loss of their father and she is on a slice ‘n’ dice mission to cut costs and save the business. Alongside Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn, Miller strikes a deal with his cold-hearted sister that if they can land a multi-million-dollar contract she’ll spare his employees and daresay – his pride.
It is then that the motley trio of lovable idiots, who for some reason are all qualified enough to be running an entire office, decide the only way to convince their new potential client to join and show off their ‘fun culture’ is by throwing the biggest office Christmas party anyone has seen, obviously completely unbeknownst and unapproved by the scornful Jen Aniston. Sounds great in a movie, completely dumb in any other circumstance.
You can probably guess what the rest of the film is – a mix between the Hangover and Project X, with all the comedic value of Schlinder’s List. The joke setups are far too obvious and contrived, the payoffs are lazy, the improvisation is not good and even the chemistry between the cast feels off and uncomfortable. It is hard to watch, I’ve only walked out of one movie in my life in Scooby Doo 2 and believe me this one was close.
I don’t blame anyone or anything in particular for this movie being complete trite, the actors in their own right all have great roles in other projects, and for the life of me, I don’t know why they signed onto this script that for some reason needed three writers.
A simple concept that should have been a nice and easy giggle before the Christmas holidays is instead a movie that, just two weeks out before 2016 is over, takes the cake of worst film of the year. I want my money back for this and I didn’t even pay for it.
Office Christmas Party: 2/10 – straight to TV next time.