Smell The Puke
When a sister is CEO of the company, and the brother heads a loss making branch, will Christmas bring cheer to the people working at the branch? Does the irascible sister close the non-performing office down? Or does the wild Christmas party bring miracles that everyone needs? The film is all about an office X-mas party gone out of hand. It’s fun up to a point, but do you want to watch other people’s party videos?
So the party is wild. It’s even funny in parts, especially how the client loses his teeth, and when Joseph and Mary sit with baby Jesus are seen sitting on the Game Of Thrones throne… But it’s like watching someone’s wedding video. You laugh politely, and even snigger at the wild moments, but are you really touched by anyone’s plight?
You have no real connect with anyone in the movie at all: with the people who work there, the brother of the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) who heads the Chicago branch, the CEO herself is not a likeable person and the office stereotypes (the horrible HR lady, the sad secretary, the office siren, the Indian computer guy, loser hackers and the like), are just pathetic.
You want to like the head of the branch office played by T.J. Miller, but he comes across as an idiot instead of a goofball with a big heart. So the task of liking other people down the office hierarchy becomes that much more difficult. Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn try hard, but they look like they were forced to play their characters. The swear words are all muted and it sort of takes a while to get used to the abrupt silences. The Censor Board is still trying to be moral police, and it doesn’t help when every dialog is peppered liberally with swear words.
Of course, it takes a Russian night club with heavies to bring the whole team together (and you think it’s too little too late, what with the parrot poop making you feel nauseous), but you really don’t care what’s happening to the office now that the party has been thrown open to everyone. We’ve seen sisters destroy the parents’ home in Sisters (Amy Poehler, Tina Fey) and teenagers destroy a home with a wild party in Project X, so the destruction of the office does not come as a surprise. But you watch as if you were rubbernecking a highway train-wreck. Wait for it to show up on TV. By then perhaps you’ll be wise and skip the film.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)