15 – 105mins – 2016
PARTY LIKE IT’S 19:00
The night before last I donned my free Coca Cola Santa hat and got into the Christmas spirit for a Cineworld Unlimited Preview Screening of a raucous new ensemble comedy from the directorial duo behind Blades of Glory and The Switch, Will Speck and Josh Gordon. Not officially released in the UK until today (December 7th), Office Christmas Party certainly puts the “high” in Ding, Dong Merrily…
… Keep Scuttling!
12A – 118mins – 2016
Not to be confused with either the classic Troma bloodbath or the Rebecca De Mornay remake, calendar-crazed holiday-hound and chick flick-churner Garry Marshall follows up Valentine’s Day (2010) and New Years Eve (2011) with another sickeningly sentimental all-star assembly which mines the greetings card-engineered date for all the schmaltz he can siphon.
Whilst I have no qualms with celebrating the love I have for my mum, Marshall amplifies the significance of Mother’s Day to near-religious proportions in this portmanteau rom-com which intermingles the often less-than-perfect family relationships and love lives of a diverse bunch of weighty actors (including his Pretty Woman lead, Julia Roberts) who are too underused to be held accountable for this groaner, but too eager for a paycheck not to be guilty by association.
Britain’s own Jack Bad Education Whitehall is a pleasantly left-field piece of casting as a burgeoning stand-up comedian plying his trade as a barman to support his long-time girlfriend (Britt Robertson) and baby daughter, while We’re The Millers co-stars Jason “Red” Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston are relatably exhausted as two struggling single parents bringing up tweens. Sadly, every other segment is crudely on-the-nose to the point of being shamefully offensive. Margo Martindale and Robert Pine, I’m looking at you!
Finally, somebody had best inform the Marketing department at Open Roads Films that opening a heartwarming love letter to mothers a week before the UK celebrates Father’s Day is almost as big and embarrassing a faux-pas as Sarah Scrubs Chalke believing a womb on wheels is a suitable concept for a parade float!