The Ultimate ‘Office Christmas Party’

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY Megan Murri

 

Comedy is a universal medium for communicating often-complex ideas, while also bringing people closer together. Everyone, everywhere, regardless of culture knows how to laugh and have a good time. This is most definitely represented in Will Speck and Josh Gordon’s new film, “Office Christmas Party.”

“Comedy, like kindness, can be universal,” said TJ Miller in a conference interview The Daily Utah Chronicle participated in.

Miller, a talented and recognized comedian and actor known for his roles in “Deadpool,” “Silicon Valley” and more, plays the role of Clay Vanstone opposite Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman.

“Office Christmas Party” is about a team of executives at the Chicago branch of a fictional company, Zenotech, throwing a wild and extravagant office Christmas party in order to win over a client and save their jobs. The characters wreak all kinds of havoc on each other and the office.

Replete with talent, the film stars comedy greats and other renowned actors like Bateman, Miller, Aniston, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, and Vanessa Bayer.

Producer, Daniel Rappaport remarked that the cast is an amazing and hilarious set of talented actors. They collaborated and cooperated to combine their various individual flavors and create an incredibly tasty dish of a film.

Every member of the carefully-selected cast contributed their own flavor or style to the production as a whole. “I was…paprika…the ingredient that both added something to the overall film but also helped sort of enhance and elevate the flavors of comedy around us,” Miller said. “You can’t have a great dish without great ingredients and this is an ensemble comedy…[and] when we collaborate and work in concert we always come up with the best solution.”

The film demonstrates a “little bit of all the different types of comedy,” Miller said, meaning it holds something for everyone to enjoy. The humor maintains a clever and quick wit while simultaneously featuring lower-brow slapstick and raunchy toilet humor. Drugs, nudity, sex, violence, a heavy reliance on expletives and sacrilege are just a few of the many reasons for the R-rating designation.

“It’s like our ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ with more…3-D printed genitalia,” explained Miller.

The film reaches deeper than comedy, however. Miller, brought on for his reputation in the comedy world, contributed an incredible level of relatability and emotion to the film, according to Speck.

From co-workers to lovers to siblings, this film touches on the sensitive nature and behavior of relationships. As anyone who has ever worked in an office space knows, working together in close proximity is not always enough to solidify any real relationship. In keeping, somewhat ironically, with the spirit of the holiday, the drama of their debacle causes the characters to change.

“By the end of the movie, after Clay’s hosted this party, they are all together.” Miller said.

The relationships between each character are vibrant, thorough and dynamic. Every interaction shapes the main characters in dramatic ways that, by the end of the film, have redefined them. Miller and Aniston’s characters’ relationship could be described as older versions of Ferris and Jeannie Bueller.

m.murri@dailyutahchronicle.com