Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007): Sleighed by the Bell

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007

I can only imagine that there are less than a few of my readers who would actually watch a movie like 2007's Holiday in Handcuffs. An ABC Family Christmas movie staring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez does not make up the type of cinema of those who normally frequent Chuck Norris Ate My Baby, but I do know there are a select few out there whose love for bad cinema isn't solely relegated to horror and action films. There is a certain level of bad taste that one must possess to get on board and actually watch a movie like Holiday in Handcuffs, and I think the entertainment value comes from how silly and utterly ridiculous mainstream, feel-good movies can be. Like, in a way, when you laugh at a film such as this, to the point of enjoyment, it's almost as if you're laughing at what normal people actually find entertaining. It's like laughing at country music in front of people who like it.

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007 (4)Written by Sara Endsley and Directed by Ron "Tremors" Underwood, Holiday in Handcuffs follows the tale of an artist named Trudie (Melissa Joan Shart) whose Christmas is not going as holly and jolly as she'd like. From a botched job interview to Mr. Perfect dumping her the day before he is supposed to meet her equally perfect parents on Christmas Eve, Trudie, being the outcast of the family (aka the artist), is fearful of the prospect of once again being looked at as the family loser. But ya know, she is, so she really should just roll with the punches at this point.

Anyway, in an act of desperation, Trudie uses this antique gun displayed at her restaurant job and takes a random guy hostage with the thought that she can force him to act as her Mr. Perfect and keep her parents off her back. And guess who her Mr. Perfect replacement is? No, not Danny Trejo… it's Mario Lopez, of course. However, I think we all know the real Mr. Perfect is Zach Morris, but I guess his salary wasn't in the budget. Conquering Kelly Kapowski demands the big bucks. 

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007 (2)

So there you have it, Trudie takes Lopez hostage, forces him to act as her beau and completely believable hijinks ensue. From convincing her parents that David has a social quirk that causes him to act as if he's been kidnapped, to an impossible chance where love is so blind that it transcends being taken hostage at gunpoint.

This being an ABC Family Christmas movie staring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, Holiday in Handcuffs is mildly entertaining at best and can only be relegated to those who like televised parades and minivans. Or someone like me, but I digress. Much of the fun I have watching a film like HIH (that's short for Holiday in Handcuffs) is predicting every little thing that will happen before the film even begins, only to be right almost every time. However, I also had a blast watching Joan Hart, or Hart, or whatever, constantly make these faces as if she just shot up some incredible black tar heroin. Like, I thought I was watching Intervention: The Movie for a second.

Holiday in Handcuffs 2007 (5)Something else I found to be pickle tickle worthy is witnessing Mario Lopez trying is damnedest not to be A.C. Slater. I mean, this guy is only three preppies, a momma and a backwards chair away from being full-on Slater. The guy cannot fight it, no matter how much relaxer he puts in his hair. 

Since I already feel like I'm running out of shit to say about this film, I suppose I can take a minute to mention the rest of the cast, which is surprisingly pretty solid. The ever lovely Markie Post plays Trudie's mom; Tim Bottoms shaves his BUSH to play her dad, while June Lockhart does her best "I'm a sassy but kind of unaware about it in a way that is simply hysterical" performance as Trudie's grandma. Oh, and mom, dad and grandma are their character names, just so you know.

Besides mentioning the cast outside of team Lopez/Hart, or Joan Hart, or whatever, and the fact that the cabin setting is off the hook dope, there's not much else I can drudge out of myself to say about this one. Depending on your specific tastes in cinema, there is a good chance that you may find Holiday in Handcuffs to be the feel good movie of 2007. Too bad it's 2011.


  1. I find it interesting that ABC (owned by good 'ol wholesome Disney) "Family" Channel would air a film in which in order for a woman to impress her family, has to kidnap is acceptably attractive guy at gunpoint to show off for them. Is unlawful imprisonment and neurosis what family viewing fun is all about these days?

  2. Sadly I must admit to watching this crapfest a couple of years ago. I don't even have a good reason as to why either! MJH and Mario are about as convincing as a couple as Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson were. And I think that Mario must have some kind of stipulation in his contract stating that he MUST appear shirtless in at least one scene of any movie/TV show that he's involved in. Well except for maybe his hosting duties on EXTRA, since he needs to retain some of his dignity, haha! Anyway this movie is more than a little similar in (basic) premise to Buffalo '66 with Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci, at least to me. Btw, did you read Emily's take on HIH? She did a pretty good job of raking it over the coals too :D

  3. Ashlee: Oh, you have no idea! I watched a shit ton of Harry Potter on ABC Family just before the last film was released in theaters, and all I saw were commercials for 'Pretty Little Liars', a show about good looking young-girls doing all sorts of un-family like stuff! It's a far cry from what we grew up with on TGIF!

    Dorian: I did read Emily's post about it and I knew that if anyone would have watched the film, it would be her! And yeah, Slater always has his shirt off, and I think it's mostly due to him knowing that it's really all he has going for him and nothing else. It's kind of sad, actually. Anyway, there is a sequel, and I cannot help but wonder if handcuffs play a part in that film too?!

  4. You know, I totally didn't even think to look up the grandma. COMPLETELY missed that it was June Lockhart! And she was EVER so sassy!


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