Mashup “Silicon Valley” with “The Office” and cut the intelligence in half (or maybe a bit more) and you have a pretty good idea what to expect from “Office Christmas Party”
Jason Bateman plays Josh Parker, a dull but loveable CTO for the apparently large data server company Zenotek. Their local NYC branch is “managed” by what seems to be his best and only friend, Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller). The company seems to be a collection of man-children and socially awkward women, so it’s almost no wonder that when the acting CEO, Clay’s vindictive sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston) arrives, heads are going to roll. She cancels all extraneous spending, including everyone’s bonus and threatens to shut the branch down. Only securing the business of visiting client Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) will save them. So, in classic anti-logic, Clay and Josh deduce the only way to accomplish this is to throw the biggest Office Christmas Party ever, and invite Walter before he leaves town. Of course, there wouldn’t be much of a movie if everything didn’t proceed to go horribly and stupendously wrong.
The remaining cast for this movie reads like Who’s Who of Bit Part Comics. Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Karan Soni, all playing pretty much the same characters they always do. The film features all the R-rated comedy staples which is practically the same list as the seven deadly sins, and the humor is evenly dispersed between slapstick, crudeness, and clever retorts.
But is the movie funny? That depends entirely on your sense of humor. Anyone who’s read the cast list, or seen the trailer knows exactly what to expect, and that’s the film’s biggest flaw. Yes, it’ll make you laugh, and no, not all the best parts were in the trailer. But with everything else resigned to being so predictable and routine, it can’t offer anything more than a minor distraction and likely won’t hold up to more than a single viewing.