I personally was really looking forward to this movie a lot more than I was the other 2016 holiday comedy, Why Him?, yet somehow it just kept getting pushed back on the movie viewing schedule. From the trailers and internet buzz, I was expecting a Hangover-esque story filled with a funny cast and alcohol fueled humor. It delivered, but at the same time it just…disappointed.
Well I would give this movie a 4 “first movie of the year” out of 10, and that is being generous since its the best movie I have seen all year (that’s a little January 1st humor for you).
On paper this movie is fantastic. It has a big cast of amazing comedians ranging from Jason Bateman to TJ Miller to several SNL alum / cast members. (Is there anything Kate Mckinnon can’t do??) The cast interactions felt natural and you could tell that everyone on set was having a great time. Almost all the jokes landed and everyone in our theatre could be heard laughing throughout the movie. With all the positives there are for this movie, I just didn’t love it.
The story and pacing killed all of the good will the jokes and actors gave its audience. Comedies don’t need to be fresh to be funny, but Office Christmas Party just felt uninspired and I left feeling like I watched something that’s been done too many times. My number one complaint when it comes to comedies is when the plot gets in the way and the humor gets lost in order to resolve the storyline. The character story lines were so predictable that when the time came they couldn’t be appreciated and felt wasted.
While I laughed throughout the movie and wanted to like Office Christmas Party, it was subpar. I would recommend seeing it, but go ahead and wait til you can Netflix and chill.
I have already recommended The Night Before as my go to Christmas comedy. So if you want a movie where a Christmas party goes awry, I would recommend Die Hard. Its got everything you need: a little bit of comedy, a much better story, and not to mention the party goes a little further south than Office Christmas Party.