Office Christmas Party

by Toby Woollaston

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Every so often a gross-out comedy comes along that has a certain genius bubbling beneath its absurd, crass, and shocking exterior. Office Christmas Party is not one of these. Well, that’s not entirely true – it is absurd and crass, but unfortunately not even a hint of genius is to be found.

Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who mildly tickled my funny bone with Blades of Glory, have nose-dived with this woeful mess. The story centres around the employees of a struggling tech company. When CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) demands the closure of one of its branches, the branch manager (who also happens to also be Carol’s brother, played by T.J. Miller) sets about changing her mind by winning a big contract. In order to do this he and his chief technical officer (Jason Bateman) set about hosting an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress the potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.

It’s not long before you realise that Office Christmas Party deals solely in the currency of the crass, the vulgar, and the slapstick. It peddles a base sense of humour with farts, men photocopying their arses and 3D printing their penises – yes, dildos, hookers, drugs and bad hip-hop.

This assault to the senses is festooned with one liner gags delivered like a bad skit-show stitched together with crepe paper that’s been soaking all night in tequila. It’s neither clever nor funny and unravels into a boring and annoying mess rather quickly.

I know, it’s the prerogative of the gross-out comedy to play in the muck and to be fair, all may have been forgiven had the film actually delivered some laughs. Try as it might, it barely raised a chuckle, leaving the film with very few redeeming qualities. So, my Christmas gift to you, dear reader, is a piece of advice: Don’t bother with Office Christmas Party.

Star rating: 1 out of 5

See the published review here.

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