Office Christmas Party (2016)

Film and Plot Synopsis

The Chicago branch of Zenotek is having a bad year. The interim CEO, Carol, is threatening to close the branch and has ordered the cancellation of the office Christmas party. Carol’s brother, Clay, and the chief technical officer of the branch, Josh, formulate a plan to save the office by making a deal with financial giant Walter Davis. To close the deal, Clay decides to throw an office Christmas party and invites Walter, in the hopes that it will close the deal. However, things go wrong rather quickly when Walter is accidentally dosed with cocaine and Carol unexpectedly returns back to the office.

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‘Office Christmas Party’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Office Christmas Party (2016)It’s December 2016. The Chief Technical Officer of the Chicago branch of Zenotek, Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) is meeting with his attorney, Ezra (Matt Walsh), to finalize his divorce from his wife in time for the holidays. Josh is also dealing with the fallout of Zenotek failing to meet its quarterly quota. To offset the losses, interim CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) is threatening to lay off 40 percent of the staff, is cutting bonuses, and has cancelled the annual Christmas party. Carol’s brother, Clay (T.J. Miller), is the branch manager of the Zenotek’s Chicago office and is desperate to keep his sister from cutting staff. Carol holds resentment towards her brother, whom she believed was their father’s favorite child. As a result, she threatens to shut down the branch. Carol is flying out of the town for the holiday, but before she leaves, she offers Josh a position in the New York headquarters to which he declines.

Josh and Clay, along with Josh’s head of tech, Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), come up with a plan to save the office by partnering with financial giant Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance). They schedule a lunch meeting with Walter later that day, and Carol agrees to hold off closing the branch so that they can try to woo Walter to do business with Zenotek. The lunch goes well and Walter is pleased with their pitch. However, he is concerned with another recent branch closure at Zenotek and feels the company is more about the budget than their people. Clay comes up with a plan and invites Walter to an impromptu Christmas party in the hopes of showing him that their company is in good standing.

Clay returns to the office and funds an exorbitant Christmas party from the branch’s dwindling funds, much to the chagrin of the head of human resources, Mary (Kate McKinnon). One of the employees, Joel (Sam Richardson) agrees to DJ the party, but the party initially begins as a dud. Tracey invites Chicago Bulls player Jimmy Butler to the party as a friend. Walter comes to the party and is initially very reserved. However, Walter gets high on cocaine after the drug is accidentally fed into a snow machine and spread around the party. Walter embraces his wild man and is soon out of control.

During the party, many of the employees begin to cut loose. Nate (Karan Soni) tries to impress two of his staff, Tim (Andrew Leeds) and Drew (Oliver Cooper), by hiring an escort named Savannah (Abbey Lee) to pose as his date. Nate finds out that his escort is a prostitute when he discovers her giving a hand job to a fellow employee. Clay’s assistant Allison (Vanessa Bayer) tries to hook up with new hire Fred (Randall Park) but stops when he reveals he has a mother-child fetish. Customer service supervisor Jeremy (Rob Corddry) dances without any inhibitions with Mary, a woman he despises. Meanwhile, Josh and Tracey get stuck on the roof of the building. The two, who are secretly attracted to each other, nearly kiss before Jeremy interrupts the moment.

Back on the dance floor, Walter informs Clay that he wants to do business with Zenotek. Clay is ecstatic that he has successfully saved the branch. The party begins to grow out of control and becomes more chaotic. Employees begin engaging in orgies, damaging company property, and doing illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, Carol’s flight out of town is cancelled due to bad weather. She returns back to the office after she hears about the party from an Uber driver (Fortune Feimster) who has been driving people to the party all night. Carol is ready to close the branch, but once she hears that they have closed the deal with Walter, she reconsiders. But a coked out Walter tries to swing off a balcony after a conversation with Clay and injures himself, putting the whole deal into question. While he is being treated, the Zenotek employees learn that Walter has been fired from his firm after his sudden business closure, nullifying the contract he signed. Carol decides to shut down the branch immediately.

She offers the New York job to Josh again in front of all of the other employees, including Clay. Despite Josh rejecting the offer, the other employees begin to shun Josh. Tracey reveals that she was given the same offer but immediately turned Carol down where Josh kept it open. Clay feels betrayed and rushes off with Savannah’s emotionally unstable pimp, Trina (Jillian Bell), to have a personal party elsewhere. Trina is more interested in robbing Clay. Josh, Tracey, Mary, and Carol race off to save Clay.

One of the guests learns that the branch is closing and convinces everyone to destroy all the company equipment. A lone security guard Carla (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) is forced to put down the out of control mob. Clay takes Trina’s car and races it towards an opening drawbridge and attempts to jump the gap. Josh drives Mary’s minivan alongside Clay, and tries to convince his friend not to jump. However, Clay still feels betrayed by Carol offering Josh the job. Clay is convinced that he is a failure and plans to jump whether he makes it or not. Josh threatens to jump the gap with him and Clay agrees. Scared of dying, Carol forces the steering wheel away from Josh, forcing the minivan into Clay’s car. The collision causes Clay to miss the drawbridge, but does cause him to collide with an internet hub, which disconnects the entire city.

In the aftermath, Trina and Savannah are arrested for their crimes and Clay is taken to the hospital. The internet blackout causes Tracey to use a new innovation she had been working on for several years that combines internet Wi-Fi with wired connections through the city’s power grid. The idea had previously failed due to her inability to take the real-world interference of the existing internet signals into account. The group rushes back to the remains of the office to set up her tech, and Tracey restores the internet to Chicago. The new invention saves the jobs of the entire team. A hospitalized Clay apologizes to his sister for how his father treated her. Walter, who is in the same hospital as Clay, agrees to join the Zenotek team.

Josh and Tracey finally kiss at the office. Jeremy opens up to Mary about his feelings, and Nate and Allison agree to go on a date. The whole group meets Clay and Carol as he’s released from the hospital, and they all go out for breakfast.

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Paramount Pictures released Office Christmas Party on December 9, 2016. Josh Gordon and Will Speck directed the film starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, and T.J. Miller.

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