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The raunchy comedy "Office Christmas Party," like most parties, goes along OK for a while but becomes an out-of-control mess by the end.

In the Chicago branch office of a faltering tech company, Josh (Jason Bateman), the chief technology officer, and Clay (T.J. Miller), the son of the company's recently deceased founder, are desperate to keep the office viable when Clay's sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston), the spiteful interim CEO, threatens to close the branch. Clay, Josh and Tracy (Olivia Munn), Josh's top coder and erstwhile romantic interest, try to land a new client (Courtney B. Vance) by throwing an old-school office Christmas party.

The directing team of Josh Gordon and Will Speck ("The Switch," "Blades of Glory") gather a sleighful of comic talent — Rob Corddry as a surly customer-service manager, Kate McKinnon as the firm's rigid HR supervisor, Vanessa Bayer as Clay's sex-starved assistant, and so on — but the much-handled script (six writers are credited) seems mostly to have been a vague suggestion as everyone ad-libbed their way through the morass. McKinnon, as the one person who maintains an actual character for any length of time, steals the movie as if it were petty cash in an office manager's drawer.

'Office Christmas Party'

Opens Friday, Dec. 9, at theaters everywhere; rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout. drug use and graphic nudity; 105 minutes.