Sunday, December 18, 2016

Office Christmas Party

★★★★½ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"Did you rent a live baby?" "It's cheaper than you think." That's a hilarious excerpt of a conversation between Jason Bateman & T.J. Miller in Office Christmas Party, the funniest Christmas comedy in a long time. Bateman plays Josh Parker, a Chief Technical Officer at the Chicago branch of Zenotek, a technology company. Zenotek is failing, causing CEO Carol Vanstone (played by Jennifer Aniston) to come in to the branch, run by her brother, Clay (played by T.J. Miller), whom she holds resentment towards, believing their father favored Clay over her. She is threatening to close down the branch unless they can secure a partnership with finance tycoon Walter Davis (played by Courtney B. Vance). Josh & Clay, along with tech head Tracey Hughes (played by Olivia Munn), go to talk with Davis, who turns down their offer. After this, in order to save their branch, they decide to invite Davis to the company's Christmas party that night, to which Davis agrees to attend.

The Christmas party is extremely expensive, much to the chagrin of Human Resources head Mary Winetoss (played by Kate McKinnon). The party is a failure, at first, even with Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler (played by himself) at the party. However, after an incident where Walter is doused with cocaine that was accidentally put into a snow machine, the party goes insanely out of control. Now, as more & more people come to the party, & as the party gets more out of control, Josh, Clay & Tracey must try to strike a deal with an extremely cocaine-addled Davis, & keep the party under control.

The cast is absolutely hilarious, especially Kate McKinnon, who is one of the funniest comediennes out there today. Josh Gordon & Will Speck's direction is great. The screenplay by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, Timothy Dowling, Justin Malen, Laura Solon & Dan Mazer is great, filled with hilarious lines. While it does have some cliches, it's still one of the funniest films of the year.

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