Something about modern comedies makes you feel like they should always be 15-30 minutes shorter. Not because comedies need to be shorter or because they’re any less valid of a genre than others, but it feels like they often phone in several chunks of the story.
Office Christmas Party falls into this same trap. Why are we watching a dance party for several minutes? There isn’t gags or jokes so lets save us all the time and establish the energy in the room and move on.
The movie has some charming moments but never hits a laugh out loud moments. Not surprised but just a simple reminder of how tough the modern comedy has become.
They often lean on overly dramatized characters. Jennifer Aniston here is so mean that it borders on absurd. Kate McKinnon is similarly over the top but on the doofus end of the spectrum. The result is characters that feel like plot devices or bad jokes rather than people. Too often comedies like OCP rely on wacky dialogue and heighten characters to try for laughs but never really give the characters any emotion. What made Dumb and Dumber so effective is all the characters cared SO MUCH. We need our characters to be real, emotional, goal oriented people to be able to laugh with and at them.
My last point of beef was that the love story between Olivia Munn and Jason Bateman was thin at best and far too easy. They essentially said “I like you” “I like you too” and kissed. No drama, no complexity. Total after thought.
Would love to see a tighter edit, more relatable characters, and more attention to pacing.