OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY
Intense Sibling Rivalry Leads to Comical Chaos
Release Date: December 09, 2016
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jennifer
Aniston, T.J. Miller, Olivia
Munn, Vanessa Bayer, Kate
McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance
Runtime: 103 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures/Viacom
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Executive Producer: Josh Gordon, Matthew Hirsch,
Will Speck, Richard Vane
Producer: Guymon Cassidy, Daniel
Rappoport, Scott Stuber
Writer: Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Dan
Mazer, Jon Lucas, Scott Moore,
Address Comments To:Thomas Dooley, CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO, Paramount Pictures
Marc Evans, President, Motion Picture Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000; Website: www.paramount.com
The story follows the misadventures at the Chicago branch of a high-tech company called Zenotek. The branch is in danger of being shut down due to the insanely intense sibling rivalry between the company’s female CEO, Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston), and her brother, Clay (T.J. Miller), who runs the branch. Carol is a cheap shrew who challenges the hard-partying Clay with the prospect that, if he can’t close a $14 million deal in the next two days, the entire branch will be shut down on top of her already canceling the office Christmas party and all staff bonuses.
Clay, his chief technical officer, Josh (Jason Bateman), and Josh’s right-hand woman, Tracey (Olivia Munn), meet with the potential client representative, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), but Walter’s bored by them. So, he tells them he’s turning them down because their corporate culture seems toxic. In a desperate attempt to win him over and save their office, the trio immediately hatches an impromptu scheme to throw the greatest office Christmas party of all time in the hopes of wowing Walter and closing the deal.
At first, the staid Walter isn’t impressed, and he opts to leave once Clay challenges him to swing off a balcony using a strand of Christmas lights. However, then he accidentally gets a face full of cocaine blown directly at him when the company’s HR head Mary (Kate McKinnon) accidentally stuffs a baggie of the illicit powder into the fake-snow machine. As a result, the evening turns into the wildest Christmas party ever. This all happens at the same time a sudden snowstorm strands Carol from making her planned trip to Europe, which leads her to discover the party she’s expressly forbidden.
What happens from there follows a well-worn formula on the surface, but this “Party” knows how to kick things up a notch, mostly because of its well-known cast. Aside from the aforementioned stars, Rob Corddry of “The Daily Show” and “Children’s Hospital” fame, “SNL” star Vanessa Bayer, and Randall Park of ABC’s hit sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” all appear.
Directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon (“Blades of Glory” and the underrated “The Switch”) handle all the mayhem with great energy, but the final third starts to feel exhausting. However, though well made for its genre, OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY has plenty of troubling, graphic content played for laughs.
There is frequent foul language, several very dirty jokes about sexual behavior, implied perverse sex, and some explicit nudity. Comic violence includes several knockdown, drag out fights played for laughs between the sibling CEO and her branch-manager brother. There are also many scenes of rampant drinking and drunkenness, as well as cocaine use played for laughs. However, there are some positive elements as the brother and sister touchingly reconcile at the end and the brother prays sincerely to God for help in saving the employees’ jobs. The prayer scene is a nicely written scene where the brother also pays tribute to his late father.
Even so, however, truly media-wise viewers will still want to avoid this OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY.
The filmmakers and cast handle the comic mayhem in OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY with energy, but the third act starts to feel exhausting. Though the movie’s well made for its genre, its pagan worldview has plenty of troubling, graphic content played for laughs. There’s abundant foul language and other lewd, graphic content, plus excessive substance abuse. However, OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY has some surprising moral, redemptive elements. Clay says a touching prayer at one point and eventually reconciles with Carol. Even so, truly media-wise viewers will still want to avoid this OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY.