Holiday in Handcuffs (TV Movie 2007) Poster

(2007 TV Movie)

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Fun and not overly cliché!
AnnaShade10 December 2007
As far as ABC Family movies go, this one was at the top! Everyone could act and practically none of the lines made me even close to cringing, which is what normally happens when I watch a TV movie.

Miss Hart did a great job and wasn't in the least a cliché character. I was a little dubious at first about Mario Lopez being her love interest in the movie, but it worked out really well.

Another thing that I was happy about was that it didn't to the boring, repetitive "Christmas is about spending time with your family" failed plot. It actually had interesting characters and a funny plot line.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to have a good time watching a movie.
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The great American con game.
lastliberal10 December 2007
Parents want their children to be successful. Children want to please their parents. Everybody puts on a happy face and are miserable inside. That is Trudie's (Melissa Joan Hart) problem. How to make her parents happy so they will love her. Things are not going her way, so she flips out and grabs Mario López to pass off as her boyfriend.

"Saved by the Bell" and soap star Lopex and Hart eventually manage a truce that leads to love, as the rest of the family lets their skeletons out of the closet.

Great family interaction, and holiday silliness. Destined to be one to watch every year.
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Nice Surprise
Christmas-Reviewer11 December 2016
A friend of mine recommended this film to me. I am glad I took his advice. This film was very good and it's one of the better Christmas Television Films I have ever seen.

In this film a Trudie (Melissa Joan Hart) is an aspiring painter working as a restaurant waitress. With the pressure to please her parents (Timothy Bottoms and Markie Post) building, she misses a job interview and gets dumped by her boyfriend just before Christmas, and she has a nervous breakdown. Stressed about going home for the holidays without a boyfriend, she kidnaps David Martin (Mario Lopez), a random customer at the restaurant in which she works and introduces him to her parents as her boyfriend, Nick.

Lots of great moments and so well made. If you want a great comedy to watch you won't go wrong watching this!
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Dumb, but fun
MartianOctocretr522 November 2009
An utterly ridiculous premise. A girl breaks up with her boy friend, and kidnaps a guy with hand cuffs to get him to pose as her boy friend for Christmas with her family. Make sense? Of course not, but it doesn't matter.

Even using her Sabrina powers, I doubt the tiny MJ Hart could over power Mario Lopez. Nor is it likely the parents would be fooled by this absurd scheme, especially when the guy starts yelling to them for help! Well, it's a rom-com, so anything goes. On top of that, the Christmas theme demands the exact sentimental outcome you'll see coming more than 50 light years away. Even if you can't give it the poetic license it needs (a lot, lol), you can still laugh at how ludicrous the whole thing is.

Silly nonsense, but utterly harmless. For a brainless diversion, this one, believe it or not, works.
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This one was different... FUN!
iluvcallalilys9 December 2007
I love Christmas movies!

I watch as many as I possibly can throughout December, but let's face it... the plots can be kind of redundant for Christmas movies.

Holiday in Handcuffs presented a NEW story line. While it was a little predictable as plots go, this particular story was new.

It was funny, warm, and light-hearted. The story is a "chick flick" but, even my husband laughed throughout.

Growing up with Saved by the Bell and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.. it was fun to see Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart "all grown up." If you're looking for fun, light-hearted, holiday fare with an original storyline... I recommend this movie.
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Clarissa Goes S&M
BackToTheWoods12 December 2007
A desperate young waitress named Trudie takes a handsome stranger hostage, with the intention of flaunting him as her boyfriend at her family's snow-covered cabin for the holidays.

Sprinkled with clever quips, and hilarious bits of tastefully placed adult humor, this movie succeeds in highlighting many of the deep archetypes of your typical family with grown-up "kids" - who are in their 20's and so are really adults, yet have to answer to the ever-appraising (and ever-loving) eyes of their parents.

The direction of the plot plays out like the tried-and-true holiday storyline, but it is variegated with modern flourishes and hilarious dialog. Altogether, this is a heart-warming and knee-slapping enjoyable watch.
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Well worth a look
Cedric_Catsuits23 December 2009
This movie actually has a well-made feel to it, like when everybody knows what they're doing and it's not just a studio spewing out TV fodder. MJH is always watchable, and there's a solid supporting cast.

The Christmas theme is not over-cooked and there isn't too much vomit-inducing schmulzt (is that a word?) apart from one scene involving some fairy lights and ice skates.

All the characters are solid and well-rounded, except perhaps David Martin who is a little too male-model for it to be believable. This doesn't really spoil it, however.

There are some genuinely funny scenes, notably the Christmas dinner, edging just on the right (moderate) side of farcical. The characters are likable, the story has a warmth to it, and there a zillion worse Christmas rom-coms with far bigger budgets. So, well worth watching.
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I liked it!
coolioz889 December 2007
Very cute movie!!! I would recommend it for anyone asking for a little smile or just if you have free time and want to relax. it's the season for a movie like this anyway!!! It's romantic, takes places during Christmas time and a little interesting as well. Of course this is a comment coming from a person who loves lovey dovey girly movies. Oh it's definitely a chick flick..!!!! Girls would enjoy it more than anyone else and omggg MARIO LOPEZ is gorgeous haha. Both Hart and Lopez did some decent acting. I personally think Hart has looked better then she appeared in this movie but she didn't look all that bad either. Worth watching once at least.
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Highly enjoyable, cute little TV movie
dickjones8716 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This was a cute TV movie of the week that I discovered to be a lot more fun then I would have ever thought. Melissa Joan Hart's character is a down and out waitress that kidnaps Mario Lopez and takes him home to her family, forcing him to be her boyfriend. I've never seen such a storyline before, and the silliness of it all was made it so great. The actors who played the parents were a lot of fun, even a visible aged Markie Post. Sorry I just keep thinking of her "Night Court" days back in the 80s, and it's harsh to see her so worn out and old looking. The only other bad thing was that Hart wasn't as pretty or hot as she could be, she is not in the same "league" of Mario Lopez so that part of the story was a bit hard to swallow to. But then again, she's the chick and he's the man, so if she's less attractive then audiences are probably more willing to buy it then if it were the other way around. I am a straight guy, but I found myself sitting there thinking how hot Mario Lopez was, and forgetting about the female leads.
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loved the movie
aaerin10 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe it's just me, but I absolutely loved this movie, I loved Melissa in Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and Mario is such a cutie( love the dimples). The ending was predictable, but I didn't care, I love happy endings. I didn't like Melissa's hair at the beginning, but throughout it, it was looking up. I loved the storyline and have never seen any of the other movies people have posted on here, so I don't have anything to complain about. It was the first Christmas movie that I have watched, that made me laugh since the Christmas season has started. I loved the grandma, she cracked me up! I also loved when David ( nick) realized that he was starting to like Trudy, It just proves that it doesn't matter what you do or who you are, love can always be where you least expect, even if it is a wild and crazy way. At least you will have a great story to tell!
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Hoepfully nobody has the keys to these handcuffs
tstyles111 January 2009
I guess I shouldn't have voted because I only saw bits and pieces, but I saw the previous review and wanted to concur. I cannot believe this was an ABC FAMILY Movie and now repeats during morning time slots. I'm going to write to those jerks at ABC. My ten year old daughter was watching it one Sunday morning while I was on the computer and every couple of minutes there was something. "Slut." "Sleeping with someone" "Virgin." I kept turning around in my chair in awe.

It prompted me to look it up on IMDb and lo and behold the first review said it all.

This is garbage. First off, it's not for kid's under thirteen unless you want to have to feel uncomfortable watching it and wondering what is going through their mind. Secondly, Mario Lopez is a reject. Why do you think he was on Dancing with the Stars. Keep it away from the kids. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" instead. That is a time when creative people knew how to make entertaining movies for families.
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Surprisingly great!
nicole_ward13 December 2011
This film was great. It's a Christmas film with romance and humour and a completely different storyline - for once. A lot of films these days are basically the same old, same old but this was nice and fresh.

I actually started watching it thinking it was going to be pretty bad, but I am really glad I watched it! The acting was good too, especially the Grandma.

The only criticism I would have is that they should have included the Grandma throughout a lot more because her character was great!! Aside from that, I don't really think there is anything else to complain about. Yes, it's not a big time movie .. it was made for TV and therefore lacks the 'shine' of a big time cinema hit. That's what I think makes it more enjoyable! Go watch it - hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!
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It Kind Of Grows On You
bkoganbing10 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Television veterans Mario Lopez (Saved By The Bell) and Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina The Teenage Witch) star in Holiday In Handcuffs which despite its title is not a Christmas bondage story. The story is about the Bohemian non-conformist daughter of an overachieving family who is so tired of getting asked why she isn't settling down that on an incredible impulse she kidnaps Mario Lopez out of a convenience store and brings him home to her rural family farm house to show off to the family the boyfriend she promised to bring home for Christmas, but who in fact had dumped her before the action of the film started.

If you can wrap your mind around the concept of Melissa without Sabrina's magic kidnapping hunky Mario Lopez than you've got more imagination than I have. But a funny thing happens, from as incredibly stupid a premise as this one starts with Holiday In Handcuffs does kind of grow on you. Even Mario starts to sympathize with Melissa after meeting her family consisting of parents Markie Post and Timothy Bottoms, brother Kyle Chandler, sister Vanessa Lee Evigan and grande dame grandma June Lockhart.

Of course Mario is also slightly engaged to Gabrielle Miller, but in these kind of family films things like that do have a way of resolving themselves or just going away.

Holiday In Handcuffs has become a staple on the Hallmark Channel in the past two years. I suspect it will remain so for young folks in love and those in love with love who dream that a boyfriend like Mario Lopez is a pistol and restraints away.
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Don't Call This A Chick Flick
statuskuo31 December 2011
This movie caught me by surprise. Everything about the story hangs heavy on Melissa Joan Hart...and she has just the right amount of charm and self-effacing humor to carry this outrageous (and obviously improbable) story.

It begins with Hart's character Trudy, preparing herself for a holiday with her parents, who are played wonderfully by Markie Post (who has brilliant comedic timing...since her "Night Court" days, you can sense she wants to break a more un-coventional sweet prude roles like her spin in "Theres Something About Mary") here she plays it for more frustrated means. A boiling pot, seethes before it explodes. She is runs on a time clock no one else can live up to. And Timothy Bottoms, whose ultra-conservative view points has him looking like George W. Seemed like he wants his daughters to take life more seriously, which is actually a great message, since most conservatives turn their mates into suffering housewives (refer back to Markie Post).

So Trudy works at a diner owned by a Hindu Indian. The odd characters prepare you for the attitude you MUST bring with you into this story (remember "Tremors"?...same director). Trudy has just been dumped by her boyfriend. You see the dude and we clearly see that he is everything her parents want. And not remotely sensible to her personality. Trudi's overbearing mother demands that she meet her mate. My guess, and is parroted, that they just hope she isn't a lesbian. She is publicly humiliated at the diner. And left in emotional pieces. Enter David Martin (played considerably low key by Mario Lopez). She kidnaps him an takes him on an adventure with his parents.

A similar story came to mind while I was watching this..."Buffalo 66". It was a harder edge version of this movie. And, it has an equally down-n-out character trying to live up to the expectation of overbearing parents during the holidays.

Trudy's buoyancy is so endearing you also wish for her to just do good with her life. You know she will find a way, even after this enormous twist of fate that has drawn these two people together.

Yes, it's sometimes cornball. Some moments get real serious. As when Trudy finally acknowledges David is not who he seems to be. Or when everyone reveals themselves. But the great touch of director Ron Underwood is that he never gets to the point where we can't have a laugh. Well-deserved laugh. The language and situations, if MPAA rated, probably would've given them a PG-13 rating.'s just so cutesy, you can't help yourself from liking all involved. These are sincere people. Yes, you know the ending, but it's a really good journey.
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How this move got above a 2 is beyond me
Mr. Chris12 December 2007
As I write this review, the movie has a rating of 6.5. How this movie got above a 2 is beyond me. To call the acting terrible would be a disgrace to the word 'terrible.' The plot was silly, the dialogue was garbage, and again the acting was repugnant. My wife managed to convince me to watch this movie with her, and admittedly, the movie's "awfulness" overcame me and prevented me from finishing it. I have to assume that family and friends of the cast came on and voted, there is no other logical explanation for the 6.5 rating. Oh yeah, the weak plot was about a girl that kidnapped AC Slater and took him home for Christmas. Apparently AC Slater and Jesse Spanno are no longer together because the movie's would-be villain was his fiancé.
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MacgyverSwiss11 December 2007
This movie was a top notch Christmas film that will get a mess of Oscar Buzz. Mario and Melissa had perfect chemistry and made all my dreams come true. You will totally love the scene where Mario orders a generic cheeseburger and fries. It brings back the Max and all our unfulfilled highschool dreams. When you see the acting skills that we are lucky enough to witness you will agree that Mrs. Hart deserves an Oscar NOMINATION at MINIMUM for her one of a kind performance. I honestly see this movie being considered for a major network series with Melissa and Mario as the two leads. It would be funny and sweet and everything we need in sitcom.
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Not bad for a TV movie
just_kumala3 December 2011
Not bad for a TV movie. A perfect movie for movie marathon on the holiday.

Mario Lopez as always is charming and sexy. Melissa Joan Hart played a good role too.

I really like the plot. Some scenes cracked me. But something is bothering me.

How could you possibly be in love with just a little amount of time and no chemistry between those two persons? Overall, let's just say thank God I was not wasting my money to watch this in the theater, but still good to watch.
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Best christmas movie ever!!!
anilparthasarathi16 December 2017
We watch this every December it is very funny! We always just keep laughing!
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One of my favorite Christmas treats!
Davis P15 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, this movie is kind of cheasy and cliché, but it's very cute and fun to sit and enjoy. Melissa Joan Hart is really great as the lead, and carries the whole movie well. Also, Mario Lopez is really great in his role and looks good doing it!! The movie has a lot of laugh out loud humor throughout. The script is cheesy at times, but overall it's cute and entertaining. The romance is well done and satisfying here. Also I loved all the actors and the characters in the movie. They all were funny and charming when they needed to be. And I really love how they treated the one gay character in the movie and how they showed complete love and acceptance. I'm so happy that ABC family worked that in because that's true family values. This movie honestly has some very hilarious moments where I was laughing out loud. Overall, this movie is just plain holiday fun! So sit down and enjoy Merry Christmas! Ten out of 10
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My New Favorite Horrible Holiday Movie
Happy Flower15 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I marked "contains spoilers" because there's no way not to spoil this movie in a review. In fact, you will have it all figured out in the first 5 minutes anyway, so it's really just about watching it all play out.

Watch Slater from Saved by the Bell get kidnapped at gunpoint by an insane Sabrina the teenage witch and be held hostage in a secluded cabin with her clueless family that ignore his constant, desperate pleas for help. Watch as Sabrina's family fall in love with Slater within the first 3 minutes of meeting him - even though the explanation for his hysterical cries of kidnapping are due to a serious anxiety problem that, if true, would put any reasonable person on alert immediately - as they rationalize away the huge amount of evidence that their daughter's new romance isn't all that it seems.

Bask in the spirit of the holidays while watching insane Sabrina's family - frisky drunken Grandma obviously included - and Slater's terrible girlfriend act out every cliché b-story from the past decade in the background of this extremely predictable "love story".

If you are a fan of horrible acting, embarrassing dialogue, predictably bad writing and inappropriate sexy bondage jokes delivered by the creepiest gas station attendant this side of the Hills Have Eyes then you and your family are in for a holiday treat. I am a fan of the above and loved this movie. It was so bad that after watching, I immediately started calling my friends and family to spread the love so we could all laugh together. It was truly awful. Slater's acting is indescribably bad. I am making this movie a holiday tradition in my home.
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Great movie
Julia George6 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a great chick flick. I definitely recommend it. Melissa Joan Hart as the main actress did a great job in the beginning when it opens up as she is doing her hair you can tell that she is going somewhere important. Melissa Joan Hart is also on a TV series Melissa and Joey, also Sabrina the teenage witch. She started out as a young actress and is now very famous.

Mario Lopez who is the main actor in this movie did a great job. He is originally famous for saved by the bell. In this movie you got to see him as a mature grown business man getting ready to propose to his girlfriend. When Melissa takes him by surprise and kidnaps him so that he can play her fake boyfriend is a great story line.

The storyline provides great chemistry between the actors and actresses and the ending took me by surprise. It was so cute.

The supporting actors and actresses did a good job. The parents didn't really act like normal parents. They just went with whatever they're daughter said about her boyfriend. But the fact that she had to lie about her boyfriend just to please her parent is sad.
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My softie side wins again because I loved it!
Robert W.26 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This year I cooked a lot for the holidays and while I cooked, I watched holiday movies. During this process I got disgustingly hooked on ABC Family Christmas movies and this was the first one to catch my attention and gosh darn it I loved it!! Yes it is sappy but its also fun and hair-brained and ridiculous in the all the best ways and turns in a sweet and romantic story and perhaps most surprisingly and I'm not the only reviewer to say this...the acting was actually pretty good. The story is a bit ridiculous and over the top and yet the simplicity of the writing made it almost believable. It would have been a hit as a romantic comedy on the big screen with big stars so why shouldn't it be fun on the small screen, even on ABC family which I am fast becoming a fan of. As with any good Christmas film, the season plays an important part to the story of course and while there isn't any true supernatural "magic" to the still feels truly magical and will make anyone smile.

Those of us that grew up in the 80's and 90's can't help but smile and enjoy seeing Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina The Teenage Witch) and Mario Lopez (Slater from Saved By The Bell) in a movie together. I certainly would never consider either one of them "amazing" actors by any means and yet I sort of ate my words because both of them were fantastic. They played their roles perfectly and didn't make you feel like you've seen this romantic angle a dozen times. They were cute together and their chemistry was very good, it wasn't outstanding but it was solid. It absolutely worked for the story. Timothy Bottoms and Markie Post play Hart's parents and they are very good. They fit the cast well and don't take attention from the main stars. June Lockhart is terrific and fun as the bitter Grandma. I even think she was slightly underused and more scenes with her could have been a lot of fun and laugh out loud moments. Kyle Howard and Vanessa Lee Evigan round out the main cast as Hart's siblings. They are good but don't have a lot of scenes so they don't swing the cast any which way.

Seeing the director, Ron Underwood's, resume makes me understand just why this tiny little TV movie is actually so well done. He has a wide variety of Television under his belt but really top notch Television. Then you look at his early movie work with the truly outstanding Mighty Joe Young (who doesn't cry at the end of THAT!) and the classic comedy City Slickers. He is very talented and he knows how to tell a story and he makes his characters come alive with emotion and true heart and that is exactly what this movie does. No it won't ever win any Academy Awards as I often say about movies like this...but when you're boiling something down to pure entertainment, I was purely entertained. I loved it! I was smiling all the way through, and even had tears in my eyes in the end and that to me makes a truly terrific movie. This is worthy of anyone's Christmas movie year rotation!! 8.5/10
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rbd16810 January 2011
Formulaic as it is, this holiday movie has some charm. It is a bit refreshing to have a dysfunctional family inhabited by more dysfunctional people. What keeps me interested is the inexplicable charm. Melissa Joan Hart gives a portrait of a young woman who is trying so hard to please her parents that she becomes a total hapless and helpless mess. One can't help but be sympathetic to this immature, pixieish wreck with moments of regret mixed with a bit of grandeur of a "boyfriend" with whom the family falls in love. To me all these faults are actually make it enjoyable to watch. Happy and handcuff-less holidays!
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A woman kidnaps a customer at her restaurant, after her real boyfriend dumps her, and takes him to meet her family for Christmas.
gollygopher15 December 2007
I thought this was a very cute movie...not really believable but if you're into cheesy, cute Holiday movies that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, then check this out!

Melissa Joan Hart is a very underrated actress, she and Mario Lopez had great chemistry together.

It was very entertaining and had many laugh out loud moments.

I gave it 8 out of 10 bc some things were what happened to the Grandma, why Trudy never really talked to her sister, things like that.

I would recommend this!
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Why can't the directors get the guys to emote!!!
skooshie13 December 2007
I've seen better and worse romance movies. This is is about as good as most. Mario Lopez is stunning with his clothes off but come on guys woman are always believable in romance novels because they can look sad and lonely or hurt or in love. It would just be nice if the male leads in these comedy/dramas could make you believe that this person makes them crazy. If you don't believe the guy, you don't believe the movie. Make the kisses just a bit more lingering or the looks a bit more smoldering, especially if you want them to feel real. That being said the cast did an OK job with it. The whole dinner part revelation scene seemed forced but hey, it has a happy ending didn't it?
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