Office Christmas Party

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Release date: 7th December 2016/Watch the trailer here

If you’re looking for a festive film to get you in the Christmas spirit this month, let me recommend literally any other film to you. Don’t let the title fool you: aside from the seasonal setting, there’s very little that’s merry about Office Christmas Party. Wasting a talented cast on yet another ‘let’s get grown-ups drunk and make them do stupid things’ movie (a formula that hasn’t been funny since the first Hangover), the office Christmas party in question is thrown by branch manager Clay (T.J. Miller) after his CEO sister (Jennifer Aniston) threatens to shut down his branch unless he can land a big client (Courtney B. Vance). Together Clay and Chief Technical Officer Josh (Jason Bateman) rally their co-workers and the last of their money to throw an epic party and save the day and everyone’s jobs, but (of course) the party soon gets out of hand.

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It’s fortunate that Office Christmas Party somehow managed to assemble the cast that it did, because they’re the film’s only saving grace. Kate McKinnon – as rule-abiding, turtleneck-wearing HR Director Mary, who lets her hair down (and gets her neck out) after a couple of drinks – and Aniston are the real stars of the show, both eliciting the closest thing to a laugh that Office Christmas Party is going to get out of you. Apparently, however, Hollywood has decided that Jennifer Aniston has finally outgrown the girl-next-door Rachel Green type, and she will now be typecast as the Mean Uptight Boss for the foreseeable future.

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The real problem with Office Christmas Party is that it’s not in the slightest bit funny. We’ve seen all of the drunken party antics so many times before (most recently in films starring Zac Efron) that they don’t even succeed in shocking us. The party can only sustain the plot for so long, before it veers into some sort of surreal car chase involving a pimp (Jillian Bell) and a Kia minivan, and then Olivia Munn has to save Chicago’s WiFi connection (seriously, that’s really what happens).

Anyone who played a part in making this film doesn’t deserve any Christmas presents this year.

★★

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