Party like your job depends on it.
Bursting on screen with a raucous ‘Ho-ho-ho’, this festive comedy finds a party-hearty trust-fund heir (played by comedian TJ Miller) throwing a gargantuan office Christmas party in a bid to win a crucial client and stop his resentful CEO sister – Jennifer Aniston in full Queen Bitch mode – from closing the Chicago branch of their tech company and laying off its staff.
Pussyfooting chief technical officer (Jason Bateman), bold programming wizard (Olivia Munn) and uptight HR manager (Ghostbusters’ Kate McKinnon) fall behind his cockeyed scheme, but you just know that by the time the rowdy winter revels are over the building will end up looking like the Nakatomi Plaza at the close of Die Hard…
Office Christmas Party won’t go down as a festive classic, but its good-humoured goofiness makes it hard to dislike. Sure, the plot is hopelessly contrived and Aniston’s character arc is even less believable. But the cast are much better than the script. Crucially, Bateman and Munn provide level-headed ballast, giving hilarious improvisers Miller and McKinnon licence to go giddily over the top. And with Blades of Glory directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck treading a fine line between gross-out excess and mawkishness, Office Christmas Party succeeds in its mission of bringing us a welcome shot of seasonal cheer.
Certificate 15. Runtime 100 mins. Directors Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Office Christmas Party available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download from Entertainment One.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.