December 12, 2016
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Movie Review: Office Christmas Party 3Stars

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Office Christmas Party Review

Explicit use of a 3D printing machine, drunk face planting and a toxic F Bomb to a little girl, in my view, isn’t really funny. I’m not entirely sure what the directors were trying to go for with this film. The story certainly had potential, as it’s a widely feared yet-must-go-to event for most company

employees at the end of the year. But, as is well known by seasoned employees, alcohol and career reputation at these festive events could become an enduring toxic mix; that could hang-over (pun intended) your remaining time with the company. As Warren Buffet once said:

“It takes years to build a reputation and only seconds to lose it.”

Sometimes, I felt this film seemed like a convoluted mix of a 1980s spoof comedy with a 2016 take. Jokes like ‘I gotta hot girlfriend’ that no-one ever sees, yet he’ll ‘prove it’ and secretly pays a prostitute (with a psycho pimp manager) are tried and tested and frankly dated and old.

One of my favorite comedy straight-men, Jason Bateman, as the Chief Tech Manager, frankly, could have done better. Jennifer Aniston, as the head of the family company and sister to an incompetent sheltered hard partying rich kid brother, who as a Family-Trust-Fund kid has reached beyond his abilities and is not turning a profit; makes a tough business decision that could see them shut down.

So on the eve of their Office Christmas Party she forbids it taking place.

T.J. Miller plays this shallow character, as the boss of one his family company’s tech branches in Chicago, quite well. And tries to save the company from his sister’s decision to either drastically cut staff numbers or close them down. He secretly allows the party to go ahead and give his employees bonuses while he figures a way to save their jobs.

So cue the valuable client, that if he lands the lucrative multi-million dollar contract will save the day. You can imagine what happens next when they invite him over to the party and he gets accidentally drugged and makes a dick of himself. But somehow- with missing teeth from the attempted Tarzan swing from the electrical cords across a mezzanine – that goes horribly wrong as he face plants a cabinet on the way down to the next level floor. Somehow, he finds it in his heart to forgive them and their noble cause in saving jobs at Christmas time. The party revelry gets out of control to anarchic proportions.

The laughs were too far and few between and the ‘aha’ story ending wasn’t in line with the preceding events. The comedic experience of Bateman, Miller and Anniston, for what it was worth, saved this movie from being a complete disaster flop.

When it comes to multiple writers and directors as this movie has; eventually there comes a point when a decision needs to be made in the best interests and integrity of the movie. Sometimes solitary leadership is better than majority-people-pleasing consensus. At any given moment, there can only be one captain steering a ship. They say that a camel is a horse designed by a committee and I think that’s what’s happened with this movie project.

Some good laughs, but I think I cringed more (with a few yawns) and that is not why I go to see a comedy movie.

I gave it a bare 3 Stars.

Take Care & Cheers

Jason

Directed by: Will Speck and Josh Gordon.

Written by: Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Scott Moore, Dan Mazer, Jon Lucas.

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