Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman party like their jobs depend on it in ‘Office Christmas Party’

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In Office Christmas Party, when the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs. The latest comedy from directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Blades of Glory) co-stars Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung and Courtney B. Vance.

This is the fifth film in which Aniston and Bateman have worked together (The Break-Up, The Switch and the Horrible Bosses films). The longtime friends jumped at the chance “to party like their jobs depended on it” – to paraphrase the film’s tagline. Office Christmas Party also reunites the pair with their directors from The Switch. Aniston and Bateman were thrilled to have a Switch reunion – with the directors and with each other.

Bateman explains, “Will and Josh have been with the project for so long that they had a clear idea about what they wanted to deliver to the audience. In the title of the film, there’s the promise of an ensemble. It’s basically all you need to know. There’s basically a Christmas party happening in an office with a big group of people. Since it’s an R-rated comedy, things are going to go sideways pretty quickly and you hope there are funny people driving that car off the road. That literally happens in this movie actually.

Will and Josh and I are very close. We’ve done a film together and we’ve been very good friends since then. I don’t think it was a big mystery to them about what I do or what I’d bring to this. Since they’ve been with this project for so long, they knew exactly what they’d be getting with me and whether they wanted that or not. When they asked me to do it, they probably thought, ‘he’s going to do his thing and that is what we want so let’s get him to do that.’”

Aniston elaborates on the directors’ synergy. “It’s fun watching them. It’s almost like watching a relay race. One is really beautiful and amazing with the technical and the other is amazing with the actors and the sets and then they’ll swap roles. They both know where to focus so they’re not overlapping or contradicting each other. You’re not going, ‘he told me this and now you’re telling me something else.’ Maybe that happened once, but that’s it.”

All of us prefer to work with people we like. Bateman is no exception. “Jennifer and I have known each other for, I don’t know, maybe twenty years now, maybe more. I’m not sure, but we’re very close. With anybody in any profession, if you can work with your friends, that’s something to look to do. I hope this certainly isn’t the last time we work together. I think this is maybe our fifth movie together or something like that – four, five, maybe six, I don’t know. Hopefully we’re only half way done.”

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Frederick Mintchell

Frederick is a featured writer for Morning Ticker, where this post originally appeared.

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