By Darlene Donloe
Employees at a tech company called Zenotek know how to party! Apparently it’s the season to not be only jolly, but to be drunk, raunchy, silly, raucous, loving, sexy and downright out of control.
In Office Christmas Party, out in theaters nationwide today, employees pull out all the stops in an effort to save their company.
The sister/brother owned business is doing Ok, but that’s not good enough for Carol, the ball-breaking female half, played hilariously by Jenifer Aniston. Carol is the CEO of the company her now deceased father left her and her brother Clay, played brilliantly by T.J. Miller. Carol is a by-the-book, no-nonsense, anal type of boss - while Clay is a fun loving, albeit dim-witted man with a good heart.
In an effort to tighten the company’s belt, Carol, who has threatened to shut down her brother’s division of the company, cancels the company Christmas party and cuts the staff’s bonuses, much to the chagrin of the employees.
Jason Bateman plays a recently divorced chief technical officer, who, along with his assistant Tracey (Olivia Munn), tries to save the company by bringing in a wealthy partner played by Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance, who effectively shows his silly side. Vance, who recently won an Emmy playing Johnnie Cochran, holds his own with his naturally comedic counterparts.
Rob Corddry plays a customer service representative, who always has something to bitch about. Karan Soni plays an employee who brags about having a model for a girlfriend. None of his colleagues are buying it.
Vanessa Bayer is attracted to Fred, played by Randall Park, but he has some mommy issues she just can’t overlook.
Kate McKinnon plays Mary, a staunch Human Resources exec who tries to keep everyone in line.
Fortune Feimster nearly steals the movie playing a hilarious Uber driver who has Aniston’s character as a passenger. Her “bit” on the name Carol is flat out side-splitting.
The actual Christmas party is lewd, crude, big, loud and wild. Anything you can think of and lots of things you can’t – is happening at this seasonal celebration. I think this cast has clearly forgotten the reason for the season.
This movie is filled with funny people, which is probably why it’s so amusing. While there are some lulls in the film that include predictability and some real violence, overall there are several laugh out loud moments. Thankfully the film doesn’t take itself seriously.
Director Josh Gordon has assembled a cast worthy of the comedic material. There is no weak link in the comedy chain.
One can only hope for an Office Christmas Party like this.
Office Christmas Party (Paramount/DreamWorks-Reliance), directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, stars T.J. Miller, Jenifer Aniston, Courtney B. Vance, Kate McKinnon, Jason Bateman, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung, Jillian Bell and Rob Corddry.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (0h, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Office Christmas Party gets an O (oh, yeah).
Office Christmas Party is RATED R: for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and graphic nudity.