Christmas office parties, a time-honored tradition that often brings us together to play some silly games, eat some preserved cheeses, and potentially get in a few holiday shenanigans. So why not use this as a medium to make a holiday comedy to entertain the masses. My review tonight is on the simplistically titled Office Christmas Party starring Jason Bateman, TJ Miller, Olivia Munn and Jennifer Aniston. Will this comedy bring a twinkle to your Christmas season, or will it ruin your holiday like a bad cold? Robbie K here to share his opinions on the latest films to hit the big screen.
- Very funny
- Clever at times
- Kicking Soundtrack
- Character Development
When you have a comedy, chances are you hope to laugh. Good news, Office Christmas Party will deliver the laughs promised in the trailer. This film has a little something for everyone including crude genitalia jokes, one liners, slapstick comedy, and bathroom humor. Our Hollywood writers continue to put out incredibly stupid lines that we eat up, but managed to time it very well to keep the laughs going. Fans of TJ Miller and Kate McKinnon will get their fill of awkward rants, screaming dialogue, and ridiculous faces associated with the dialogue. Those who want a little more cleverness behind their comedy will also get their wish, for the office is packing a few puns and pokes geared towards the holiday season. These moments, as well as a few fart jokes, were my favorite, primarily seeing Jennifer Aniston whip out some angry moves on some extreme extras.
Yet what’s a comedy without a little music to amp the stupidity up? Office Christmas Party has you covered here too, with a list of tracks to keep your feet moving in the aisles. Hilarious raps mirror the theme of the scenes, while upbeat techno songs pave the way for high speed chases and epic party montages. It fit well with the overall theme of the movie, and having a character DJ bump most of them was another example of creativity.
And surprisingly the comedy has some character development that extended past a character getting laid or getting an ideal job. This particular film did a decent job expanding on the cast, giving them some backstory that explained the challenges they were facing. TJ Miller and Aniston’s family dynamics have some emotional moments to them, while Bateman and Munn have a conflicting lifestyle approaches that involve compromise. Yes, it’s simplistic, but it’s a lot better than some of the other comedies out there who rely on shallow laughs.
- Sometimes crosses over the line
- Plot hitches/Concepts dropped
- Jillian Bell’s Character
No surprise, R rated movies keep pushing the line more and more in order for more disturbing “unique” ideas to arrive. Office Christmas Party crosses the inappropriate line at a few points often involving sexual humor, a few religious jabs, and carefree use of a gun. These ideas, while funny to some, were a little too much for me and a little insensitive to some of the issues that are hot topics. Fortunately, these are few and far between, but they may leave a mental imprint that can be hard to shake, and could have been left to an optional director’s cut.
Speaking of director’s cut, the editors of this film seem to be relying on an extended cut to help fill in some gaps. There were times I felt they built up a particular concept or plot element, trying to amplify the trouble they could get into. However, these elements were suddenly dropped, never to be followed up on. Some of the bloopers also hint at these moments, supporting a potential added content to the movie. While this isn’t the biggest dislike, I felt the editing could have been slightly reworked to add implement these points or at least smooth out the rough edges.
Finally, Jillian Bell’s character was not my favorite. It is more a personal issue, but her characters usually annoy me more than anything. Her acting continues to be over the top and feels as if she is trying too hard to be funny. Why she can’t have a more balanced role, or at least better writing, continues to baffle me, but again her screen time is fairly limited. Perhaps it is also the fact that her character was pretty pointless, and really didn’t integrate into most of the party scenes. Another example of not shooting first and thinking later.
Office Christmas Party fulfills its intended goals, as a mindless laugh fest meant to brighten your holidays. It’s a very fun movie and has a little more character building dynamics that expand the movie past ridiculous levels of stupid. With all the comedic styles, most audience members should enjoy this film, but you’ve been warned that there are a few over-the-top moments that might be more offensive/uncomfortable for the more sensitive viewer. Worth a trip to the theater? In terms of having fun at the movies I think it warrants a visit, but otherwise hold out for it to hit Redbox.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5