By: Felix Felicis (Three Beers) –
‘Tis the season, the Christmas movie season, which, if you were wondering, lasts from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve. And then it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to Valentine’s Day which is PRACTICALLY the Fourth of July and then it’s Thanksgiving again. Also known as Pre-Christmas. So here we are, another year older, another year (bud)weiser with yet another Christmas movie… er. Office Christmas Party is both literally and figuratively the title as well as a verbatim account of what happens during the film. Those hijinks, they are a comin’! You can’t stop them. So just strap on your bad decision boots and smuggle some booze into the theater using your new fake sunscreen bottle that doubles as a flask.
A stoned head of lettuce could explain the plot of Office Christmas Party to you so I’ll keep it brief because the beauty of this movie is in its simplicity. There exists an annual phenomenon amongst repressed white collar workers in which during a brief ode to a man that makes people sit on his lap and spill their deepest desires, wine and cheese are served at a designated time in order to ameliorate the backbreaking weight of societal pressure that adulthood beats us down with year after year. Depressed yet? Cool. You’re exactly where we open on Office Christmas Party before Bitter Bitch Barbie (played by a breathtakingly badass Jennifer Aniston practically ROLLING in her crunchy bits of bitch-ness and having a ball with it) blows into town to Grinch it up and steal Christmas from an office running on fumes and questionable 3D printing practices. But wait! This ragtag group has 24 hours to pull a win out of their asses and save the day by throwing a raging party and signing a major client. Shenanigans and even more questionable livestock procurement methods ensue.
Despite the LAUNDRY list of things that went wrong with Office Christmas Party (and there was a list, I even checked it twice) I still had a fucking blast and laughed my ass off. This is one of those movies where you turn off your brain and turn on that little switch in the command center that lets the hamster running the show behind the scenes have a night off. Go see this movie and go see it with friends, the more the merrier. Office Christmas Party is dumb, it’s formulaic, it’s predictable and defies logic harder than a teenage girl doing age-math in her head to justify dating the hot new Macro/Micro Economics teacher (this has absolutely no correlation to my personal life…) but it does one thing and does it so right that nothing else matters. It. Nails. THE CASTING.
Jason Bateman is bae, AND the ultimate straight-man for any hi’s that need to be jinked. T.J. Miller (the goofy boss with a heart of gold) drives me up a fucking wall in most flicks because his laid back stoner bro attitude permeates every layer of his being, but it works almost charmingly well here. Kate McKinnon as the straight-laced HR lady with hilariously hidden depths of depravity IS GODDAMNED MAGIC and one of the best and brightest upcoming female comedians on the scene. I could go on, but almost every role, even down to the smallest part, is perfection. So what if everything else is a hot train wreck? The cast sells Office Christmas Party so hard even I’m buying.
Office Christmas Party had everything wrong with it. The plot was pretty much copy-and-pasted from a dealer’s choice party flick. The characters were one-dimensional (Olivia Munn and Rob Corddry are basically afterthoughts) and brought to life by super-human acting skills (no joke, I’m actually semi-convinced ritual sacrifice was used on this one). But my biggest actual critique is that once it hit its sweet spot and stayed there (sometime after a potential investor gets crop dusted by cocaine) Office Christmas Party delivered one delightfully insane antic after another until it KO’d you in the face so hard with laughter that you forgot the deus-ex-machina resolution was super lazy and totally impossible BUT MAN CAN THAT KATE MCKINNION CAN ACT- HEY DID I TELL YOU SHE’S MAGIC BECAUSE SHE IS. But it takes forever to hit that sweet spot. Like a solid thirty minutes.
Office Christmas Party will entertain you, it will amuse you and it will successfully distract you from the fact that the world’s oldest albatross (66) laid an egg recently and you can just FEEL your mother getting ready to call and ask you why you’re thirty and still single. But what it will NOT do is stick with you. This movie lacks in creativity what most Kardashians lack in humility and/or basic life skills. It’s a forgettably unforgivable deficit in originality only rivaled by Interstellar’s black hole workaround WHERE LOVE CONQUERS THE SPACE/TIME CONTINUUM AND ALL KNOWN LAWS OF PHYSICS. That movie is my great white whale, though I digress. Plus there’s the slightly annoying and unnecessarily extraneous nudity, but if you can enjoy Office Christmas Party for what it is, in the moment, then you’ll be just fine.
Office Christmas Party must be a holiday tree or the time I tried to flatiron my hair wasted because IT. IS. LIT. Two entirely inappropriate thumbs up.
Office Christmas Party (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever the situation escalates.
Do a Shot: for every Aniston asskicking.
Take a Sip: anytime there’s a clear HR violation.
Shotgun your Beer: when things get 2 Fast 2 Furious.