When the CEO of an IT company (Jennifer Aniston) threatens to close her party-hard brother’s branch, he (T.J. Miller), the Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) and head of tech (Olivia Munn) rally their colleagues into turning their annual non-denominational cheese and wine evening into an epic Christmas party of the year. The flimsy reason: to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.
The stellar cast, including Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung and Courtney B. Vance, largely go off-script (or perhaps there wasn’t much of a script to begin with?) to utilise their improvisational skills. Akin to the humour in Horrible Bosses, Office Christmas Party draws on their talented cast to make the most of a simple story. Hence, it’s largely the supporting cast that drives the humour in the film.
All stereotypes are present. Both Aniston and Munn are kickass no-nonsense leading ladies, with McKinnon as the straight-as-an-arrow, spinster HR manager (parrots, not cats) in a horrific, non-offensive multi-denominational holiday jumper that makes you want to gouge your eyes out. We all know someone like that. Miller is your typical dumb-as-a-brick party boy, with Bateman playing his classic hits, i.e. Bateman in any other movie or TV show ever.
Complete with lots of alcohol, real-life reindeer, debauchery, colleagues hooking up, Jesus riding a horse through the building, and heroin, Office Christmas Party is a great way to switch off and enjoy the silly season, without having to think too hard.
Consider it your guide on ‘what not to do’ at your own office Christmas party, lest you find yourself looking for work in the New Year.