It’s that time of the year again, at the end of every cinematic twelve months it seems the new year cannot be welcomed in unless we’ve endured the inevitable collection of the Christmas comedy December releases. These are usually fairly hit and miss but I was strangely optimistic for ‘Office Christmas Party’, this was probably down to the cast of well know actors and actresses and a trashy beat in the trailer. So with my Christmas jumper on and expectations of some light hearted festive fun I clocked in for what I hoped could be the best night of the work year!
It seems in some cases that many employees do not enjoy attending their work crimbo dos and that they begrudgingly attend, this certainly wasn’t the case here though as I was more than happy to be at this party as I was thoroughly entertained. There is a good mixture of comedy throughout the movie which kicks of with it’s accessible setting of the workplace. This is a place that most of the audience members will be able to relate to and as a result the film starts with a collection of amusing encounters between co-workers. The group of employees is surely the reason for the majority of laughs in the film. The cast is full of recognisable faces such as Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn & T.J. Miller who play a wide array of characters, the variety of said characters is what helps the comedy to be so effective. However, there were easily a couple of standout performances amongst the large cast. The first of which is newest member of the ghost busting team, Kate McKinnon. She plays Mary Winetoss, the head of HR who is a stickler for the rules and tries her best to include everyone whilst offending no-one. McKinnon is fantastic in this role and steals every scene she’s in. That is other than the scenes she shares with Jennifer Aniston’s character, CEO, Carol Vanstone. Channeling some of her character from the ‘Horrible Bosses’ series Aniston clearly has a lot of fun with this role and subsequently creates a lot of laughs, the highlight of which is a scene with a young girl in an airport lounge, absolutely savage!
The overall narrative of the film is undeniably stupid and requires you to leave your brain at the door, it’s basically just an excuse to throw one hell of a party. When the jokes are being fired the film is a lot of fun however there are sections which hold it back. There is one recurring storyline between the characters played by Bateman and Munn which is just so unnecessary and it manages to over stay it’s welcome before the first scene dedicated to it is over. If this had been taken out of the narrative there would have been a much better pace to the film. Contributing to that as well were some of the music choices. As to be expected in a film like this there are several montages of the party antics accompanied by several different tracks. I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the music choices and thought more could have been done to add energy and pace to these sequences if better songs had been chosen. It’s a small criticism but nonetheless an element which could have been improved with a little more attention.
Due to these slight flaws ‘Office Christmas Party’ won’t become a festive favourite of many however, it’s more than satisfying for a night out at the cinema. With relatable humour and most of the gags landing the party is in full flow. Furthermore the wide array of cast & characters, especially Kate McKinnon and Jenifer Aniston make sure that this party is worth attending and secure it’s place as one of the best comedies of the year.
Rating – 7/10
Question: What is your all time favourite Christmas comedy?
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