Comedy is one of the most dividing genres of film out there. What makes one person laugh is so specific to each individual, it is hard for filmmakers to strike gold and make something that really appeals to a wide demographic. Comedies are big business though and there is no shortage of them out there. While many of the big studio comedies don’t really do it for me, especially the stoner comedies of Seth Rogen and company (although for some bizarre reason I love the Harold & Kumar movies), I do like the film of Judd Apatow and Paul Fieg. Two other filmmakers I dig are Will Speck and Josh Gordon. They haven’t done much, mainly only the Jason Bateman film The Switch, which was okay but ultimately forgettable, and the Will Ferrell epic Blades of Glory, which was deliriously ridiculous and fun. Their new film hits shelves this month, Office Christmas Party.
At the Chicago branch of a huge IT company called Zenotek, the branch manager Clay (T.J. Miller), his Chief Technical Officer Josh (Jason Bateman), and their co-worker Tracy (Olivia Munn) must devise a plan to lure a new client in so that Clay’s sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston), who is also the CEO of Zenotek, won’t shut down the underproductive branch. The plan to bring the client to a massive office Christmas party might just backfire though when the party gets out of control on a massive scale.
Office Christmas Party is the kind of ensemble situational comedy I love. The cast is full of some of my personal favorites including Bateman, Munn, Aniston, the always reliable and unique Miller, scene stealing Kate McKinnon, the not-usually-in-comedies but awesome Courtney B. Vance, and all time faves Rob Corddry and Randall Park. And the brilliant pacing as the party gets more and more out of control is fun to watch, as the situations get bigger and more elaborate. And even the story is pretty interesting with some twists I didn’t see coming. And I loved that it didn’t end up taking that one last delicate step into absurdness. Office Christmas Party is a blast of a comedy with a great cast and a lot of laughs. Definitely recommended.