‘Tis the season to be jolly, whether you want to or not! Christmas is almost upon us an inevitably the studios are churning out the usual festive films for us to spend the little money we have left after the big Christmas shopping trip on! Providing an adult alternative to the festive family friendly fare is Office Christmas Party. Christmas is the time for spending after all, so tapping into this adult Christmas market seems like a smart move, especially after the relative success of Bad Santa (2003) and The Night Before (2015).
Starring a host of some of the best comedy actors around at the moment, Office Christmas Party follows the story of a tech company whose future is uncertain when their uptight CEO (Aniston) threatens to shut them down. Because of “reasons”, the only way to stop this from happening is throwing a huge, raucous Christmas party to land a big client and save the day. Sound ridiculous? Well that’s because it is, and sadly it is not ridiculously good, but ridiculously stupid, painfully unfunny, and woefully juvenile.
As you might expect, a film where the entire plot premise revolves around throwing a party, there’s absolutely nothing between the ears here, which could be somewhat forgiven if it was actually funny, but it isn’t.
In it’s defence, and as somewhat of a redeeming quality, it does have some good and funny individual performances. After her star turn in the Ghostbusters remake, Kate McKinnon is on top form, yet her talents are absolutely wasted on a poorly fleshed out character. Jillian Bell (who you’ll recognise from 22 Jump Street) is also on fine form, but criminally underused. T.J. Miller plays pretty much the exact same character he did in Deadpool, but he’s still pretty entertaining, although his jokes don’t quite all land as perhaps they were intended.
If it feels like one of those films which will end with an increasingly debauched series of polaroid photographs in the closing credits, and a gag-reel which is invariably funnier than any of the “jokes” in the film, then that’s because it is exactly that sort of film. It follows the generic comedy blueprint so rigidly that it’s painfully predictable, not in the least bit entertaining, and on the whole, incredibly dull.
The “Christmas” element is so obviously shoe-horned in to draw in the festive film crowds, and there’s nothing really Christmassy about it. Take that element out and you’d still have the same bland, generic, “raucous” comedy, that is quite frankly over-saturating what is currently a very lacklustre film market.
Do not be lured in thinking this will be a fun alternative to the cheesy festive family films, and spend the money you would have spent on a ticket on an extra present for a loved one instead, you’ll get far more joy from this than this sorry excuse for a comedy would ever give you!
Office Christmas Party opens in UK cinemas from today (Wednesday, 7th December).