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Holiday in Handcuffs
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Reviews & Ratings for
Holiday in Handcuffs (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Fun and not overly cliché!

Author: AnnaShade from United States
10 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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28 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

This one was different... FUN!

Author: iluvcallalilys from United States
9 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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23 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

The great American con game.

Author: lastliberal from United States
10 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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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Dumb, but fun

Author: MartianOctocretr5 from Redondo Beach, CA
22 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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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Clarissa Goes S&M

Author: BackToTheWoods from Seattle
12 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Nice Surprise

Author: ChristmasDreamin73 from United States
11 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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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Well worth a look

Author: Cedric_Catsuits from United Kingdom
23 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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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

I liked it!

Author: coolioz88 from United States
9 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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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Highly enjoyable, cute little TV movie

Author: dickjones87 from United States
16 December 2007

*** This review may contain 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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Don't Call This A Chick Flick

Author: statuskuo from United States
31 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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