Hot Take: A nominee for Most Forgettable Movie of 2016. It’s so derivative of other movies, if you watch it at home, you might think you sat on the remote and changed the channel.
About the only thing out of place in Office Christmas Party is Jason Bateman who sheds his typical asshole role. Everything else is as expected. At some point, you can call the shots before Office Christmas Party takes them. Part of that is due to a trailer which reveals more than necessary but it can’t all be blamed on the trailer. Unfortunately, most of the movie has been done before and the movie delivers less laughs than it needs to be considered a successful comedy.
Joining Bateman is a cast in all too familiar performances. T.J. Miller is more snark than wit and even less funnier than needed. Kate McKinnon’s performance is goofy and out there but nowhere near as funny as her character in Ghostbusters. Jennifer Aniston is cold as ice (which you know, at some point, the façade will melt because, well, that’s how these movies work) in her role. The rest of the cast are familiar faces whose names you may or may not know but who deliver familiar performances which lack any lasting impression much like the movie itself.
You’ll probably be able to count on one hand the amount of times you chuckle and might find yourself hard pressed for moments that make you actually laugh out loud. The film takes it’s cues from other comedies of recent memory but is nowhere near as funny. It tries harder than expected, too, which adds to the disappointment. You don’t get the impression that anyone is there to just cash a paycheck (maybe Aniston) but the comedy fails more than succeeds to the point where I’m forced to ramble on and on about vague points about the movie because it is nearly impossible to remember what happened in this damn forgettable movie!
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- I’m Sure There’s Something But I Can’t Remember
I guess the good news is very little of my brain has been devoted to the memory of this movie? There’s that.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Product of 5 Writers
Any time you see a lengthy list of writers, it’s never a good sign. It’s rare a film can survive such a process and remain coherent and funny. While this film seems to have a cohesive thread throughout (I think but, honestly, I remember very little of it), it doesn’t tap your funny bone enough.
- The Unlikable Aniston Role
Apparently, the directors asked for this role to be written specifically for Aniston as she’s built a history of success in unlikable roles. If you’re a fan of this role for her, you might actually enjoy Office Christmas Party. I’m not. I didn’t.
- Forced Sentimentality of the Holiday Film
Worst of all is Office Christmas Party‘s attempt to be a more traditional holiday film with its progression. Sure, it was filmed in Chicago which is home of the World Series champion Cubs but this one is a big swing and a miss when it comes to holiday films.