To simply set the scene of Office Christmas Party as a whole is quite a challenging feat, there’s a lot going on in this film. That’s why we won’t bother. Instead, imagine we’re giving you the elevator pitch while riding with us in the actual elevator taking you the actual events as our plus one.
Zenotech’s struggling Chicago branch is headed up Clay, played by the undeniable scene stealer T.J. Miller. The branch is desperate to survive. In order to do so, its throwing the party of all parties to impress a potential corporate client, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance).
The subplots, (and there are a ton of them) include Jennifer Aniston’s Carol, Clay’s older sibling and interim CEO of Zenotech who took over after their father’s death. Carol is looking to make money-saving cuts at the expense of Clay’s department. Just before Carol’s trip to London, she cancels the original office holiday mixer that was to have taken place.
Morale is low and fear of job loss is at an all-time high. So Clay turns to the memory of his father for inspiration to bring back what’s been missing at the company. He recruits Josh (Jason Bateman), a company supervisor and Tracey (Olivia Munn), a tech genius to turn the department’s fate around. The party instantly becomes an all-out rager when the crew calls in all the favors to load up on alcohol, music, live reindeer, and even an eggnog distributing ice sculpture which lends itself to one of the films more memorable scenes. And we’ve yet to mention money, drugs, a hands on prostitute, Jesus “hiself,” and a surprise cameo by a member of the Chicago Bulls.
Running amuck alongside Office Christmas Party’s the front-facing shenanigans is a subtle baby fetish relationship between Allison (Vanessa Bayer) and Fred (Randall Park). Mary (Kate McKinnon), head of HR, is trying her best to keep everything PC and environmentally safe. McKinnon shines once her character’s true self eventually shows up with some of the best throw away lines of the film. Jillian Bell features as Trina, a pimp who can make you laugh with just the wave of a gun. The very funny Karan Soni plays Nate, who is desperate to find a love connection at all costs. And finally, comedian and actress Fortune Feimster makes a splash as a frustrated Uber driver caught up in the middle of a bunch of transportation nonsense.
If you’re headed into into the film looking to just sit back, have a good time, and enjoy the ridiculousness of what’s in front of you, you will be thoroughly satisfied. Office Christmas Party can be a fly-by, one hour forty-five minute fun fest of raucous of laughs if you let it be. So blow off your own party and head to the theater for some fresh laughs. Believe you me, we all need them about right now.
Office Christmas Party is in theaters December 9th and you can show up prepared sporting one of the officially licensed featured “ugly sweaters” worn in the film by heading here.