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:: Office Christmas Party

Josh Gordon and Will Speck‘s Office Christmas Party is that unlikely holiday ensemble comedy that works well. It’s an enjoyable romp that’s insanely unrealistic in its delivery of one of the wildest parties ever, yet it’s authentic in its approach to Christmas and the spirit behind it.

Branch owner Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) is backed up into a corner this holiday season, with his sister (and temporary company CEO) Carol (Jennifer Aniston) demanding that he cancel the company Christmas party, suspend bonuses and possibly layoff several dozen employees if things don’t turn around. This leads Clay to throw an even larger company party. Clay seeks the help of his co-worker and friend Josh (Jason Bateman) to ensure that this is the largest and most spirited of holiday events, despite the constant bickering from HR rep Mary (Kate McKinnon).

Office Christmas Party goes down as one of the most unoriginal film titles to have ever be conceived, despite mostly being a wall-to-wall successful comedy that manages to make you laugh regularly and learn a bit about its characters in the process. The film features a stacked list of comedic actors that all turn in mostly very good performances that range from extremely effective and funny — like Jillian Bell and Kate McKinnon, to mostly background noise — like Rob Corddry.

Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn are respectively the most “normal” of the bunch, which leads to less jokes, but more relatable situations, while T.J. Miller and Jennifer Aniston bounce off each other in perfect comedic unison as the rich siblings that seem to have the most opposite of outlooks on life.

Office Christmas Party isn’t just a film about an office Christmas party, but instead the importance of an office and the relationships created between the hours of nine to five. It’s that glimpse at a “boring” office job, only this time it’s not so boring as employees interact and engage with each other as friends and even family to some degree.

It may not be the deepest of films, but its absurd party-throwing antics are deemed acceptable because of the film’s ability to root the characters and their relationships in a believable and admirable manner. Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck have managed a perfectly-balanced film that highlights all their strengths and rarely shows any of their weaknesses. I applaud the film for being able to achieve so much, with a somewhat simplistic concept,

DVD Extras

Audio Commentary by Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Throwing an Office Christmas Party
Deleted and Extended Scenes