Frat comedies are fun, frat comedies peopled with middle aged characters can also be fun although I’m not sure where we decided we’d rather see middle aged people being irresponsible than teenagers. I guess when the teenagers were more interested in playing Halo 4 or downloading 22 Jump Street and middle aged schmucks like me were still habitually paying good money to watch Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn act up on the big screen opening weekend. Maybe it just reflects the arrested adolescence of Gen Xers. I don’t know. I didn’t expect a lot from this film but the trailer was good, all of the cast have been in good projects and I wanted to see a movie that weekend and my wife showed no interest in Hacksaw Ridge so there you have it. I’ve never been to an Office Christmas ‘party’, they were all lunches. There’s been drinks at work and some people sitting in laps they shouldn’t and I went to this work retreat once that I really enjoyed where I discovered I hate Cognac but enjoyed a conversation out in the courtyard about life as everybody wished me well for falling in love and proposing to the woman who has become my beautiful wife. I know I don’t have any interesting stories to tell and that’s kind of like this movie although it tries hard with mobster back rooms, car stunts, drug taking, nudity and emergency call inducing pranks. There are funny lines to be had mostly from Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Jennifer Aniston but the best bits…wouldn’t you know it they were in that trailer that was good.
Still let’s recap the plot in case you’re interested. So we were staying at the Brisbane Riverview Hotel except it wasn’t called that back then…..Oh yeah right the movie. So Jason Bateman stars as Josh Parker the Chief Technical Officer at a company called Zenotek and has recently gotten divorced. He is the right hand man of Branch Manager Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) whose father used to own the company. The CEO is his sister Carol Vanstone played by Jennifer Aniston who is closing down branches and firing staff. Clay proposes to Carol that if he can close a deal with financier Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) he can keep the Chicago branch open. Davis wants to work with companies who value people over the bottom line and to prove this Clay invites Walter to the office Christmas party to end all Office Christmas parties. Loud crazy shenanigans ensure the likes of which you may never experience in your life let alone at a work party but for all its raging the film rarely surprises or thrills and this is crucial keel over in fits of laughter. It has funny characters and funny moments but I really wished I’d seen Hacksaw Ridge to tell you the truth.