Office Christmas Party

Posted on December 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm

B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and graphic nudity
Profanity: Very strong, crude, explicit, and graphic language throughout
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking and drugs (played for comedy)
Violence/ Scariness: Comic peril and violence with some injuries
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: December 9, 2016

Copyright 2016 Paramount
Copyright 2016 Paramount
Not since “Snakes on a Plane” has there been a movie whose title so clearly explains exactly what the premise is and what the audience should expect. Indeed, star T.J. Miller (“Deadpool,” “Silicon Valley”) has said in interviews that he took the role based on the title alone (and his past relationship with the directors), without ever reading the script. And, honestly, it does not matter to its intended audience. They just want to see comic, outrageous, chaos, and that is just what this movie delivers, with an all-star cast of top comic talent. Each gets a chance to show off, and, as slob comedies go, this one has a winningly sweet heart.

Clay (Miller) runs the Chicago office of his late father’s software business. Well, “runs” is perhaps not quite the correct term. He more or less presides over it, in a benign but bro-ish way. The actual grown-up supervision is performed by Josh (Jason Bateman), a very responsible guy, but subdued following his divorce. And the actual productivity falls to Tracey (Olivia Munn), a coding genius.

Clay’s sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston) is the tough, smart, no-nonsense boss of the whole enterprise and she intended to shut down Clay’s all-nonsense, money-losing branch. She cancels the Christmas party and tells Clay everyone will be laid off unless he can land a $14 million new client, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance). Other characters in the office include Clay’s assistant Allison (“SNL’s” Vanessa Bayer), a single mom and sort of office mom, too, fussy HR head Mary (“SNL’s” Kate McKinnon), office complainer Jeremy (Rob Corddry), new hire Fred (Randall Park), and a manager named Nate (Karan Soni) whose staff is convinced he is lying about having a hot model girlfriend and has challenged him to bring her to the party.

You can guess where it goes from here, and you know whether that is your idea of fun or whether you’d prefer to stay home and re-watch “A Christmas Story” or whatever cinematic eggnog is on the Hallmark Channel. “Gets out of hand” does not begin to convey the extent of the very bad choices made by all involved, with intentional and unintentional abuse of substances, and — an update to the traditional photocopying of body parts — using a 3D printer for a full-size model. There’s a chase, some bad romance, some better romance, and a trip to the hospital. Jillian Bell, as always, is a highlight, essentially repeating her “22 Jump Street” role. This time, instead of a drug dealer, she’s a pimp.

Perhaps the best that can be said is that it is more fun than any actual office Christmas party.

Parents should know that this film is a very raunchy comedy with explicit sexual references, situations, and male and female nudity and kinkiness, crude language, drinking and drunkenness, drugs, and comic peril and violence with some injuries.

Family discussion: Would you want to work for Josh or Clay? Why was Carol jealous of Clay?

If you like this, try: “Old School” and “The Night Before”

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Comedy Movies

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