NEW YORK — Cubicle drones cuts loose in “Office Christmas Party” (Paramount). The result is a sleazy soiree, an “Animal House” toga wingding for the spreading-middle and receding-hairline set.
What matters here is that seemingly respectable bourgeois business types should be emboldened, via the consumption of vast amounts of alcohol, to Xerox their bare backsides and use a 3-D copier for a still more vulgar purpose. What most emphatically does not matter is the plot that gets them there.
Nonetheless, here goes: To impress Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), a potential client who thinks their company suffers from low employee morale, Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller), the laid-back branch manager of a family-owned internet firm, and Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), his chief tech officer, defy their uptight CEO, Clay’s sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston), by going ahead with the office Christmas party she had ordered them to cancel.
Predictably, things get out of hand with destruction and debauchery running rampant. Cocaine winds up in a fake-snow blower; Nate (Karan Soni), the resident geek, hires a call girl named Savannah (Abbey Lee) to pose as his girlfriend; and we get a peek of group sex going on in a bathroom stall.
As all that suggests, directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon’s grossly stupid get-together is a regrets-only affair that viewers concerned either with taste or morality – or, better yet, with both – will happily decline to attend.
The film contains brief sacrilegious humor, strong sexual content, including full nudity and implied aberrant behavior, drug use, a prostitution theme, several uses of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language.
(Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.)