30 Days of Horrible Christmas Movies... Day Twenty-One

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007) - ABC Family

Remember that movie 'Misery'?  About a crazy person who kidnaps a poor guy and holds him hostage while torturing him in her snowy retreat?   Imagine that movie as a fun family movie, with a dash of 'The Shining', only this time James Caan and Kathy Bates fall in love with each other.  Welcome to 'Holiday in Handcuffs' people.

Trudie (Melissa Joan Hart) is a holy mess of a person, but on this day she just has to keep it together long enough to make it to her parents snowy retreat with her boyfriend, for the annual family Christmas celebration.  Sadly her boyfriend bails on her, claiming he was just pretending like he was gonna go until she gave up the cookie... Hey, that's what he said in this family Christmas movie.  Now distraught and in the middle of a breakdown, Trudie sees the deep dimpled David (Mario Lopez) and at that moment Trudie decides to kidnap David at gunpoint and force him to her family outing to pretend to be her boyfriend.  Hey... that's what this movie is about.

Obviously David is not happy about this situation, especially since he was going to propose to haughty girlfriend before he was Taken.  Simple enough, just tell her parents their daughter kidnapped him at gunpoint when he gets to the cottage.  Unfortunately for him Trudie had a plan for that, and just about any other escape method David dreams up.  Not much for David to do except make the best of a bad situation, which he does with aplomb to the point now Trudie is all upset that her family... which is pretty darned hateful... loves him more than they love her.

Then the strangest thing happens... love.  Not quite sure how it happened, but it did.  And I'm sure once Trudie finishes her 25 year stint in a federal penitentiary, those two can be together.

ABC Family really had some strange Christmas movies, with most of the strangeness stemming from their movies tendencies to have a lot of adult content.  Now we don't have a bit of a problem with this, unless the name of your TV channel is ABC Family.  Thank goodness for Freeform I guess.  For instance, Markie Post, playing Trudies mom, announces at dinner she can only get through sex with Trudie's dad by imagining Clint Eastwood.  Now I'm wondering which version of Clint she's dreaming of.  The 'Get of my Lawn' Clint from the RNC a few years back?  Or Outlaw Josey Wales Clint from back in the day?  Either way, it's a horrible image and I'm thinking there are better fantasy choices, but what the hell would I know.

But if you can get past the concept of kidnapping somebody at gunpoint and Stockholming this person into falling in love with you, this one wasn't so bad.  Recognize we that we have observed two kinds of Christmas movies during this journey.  Movies that actually celebrate the day, and movies that just happen to take place sometime around the day.  This one is the latter.  There were a few parts that were really funny, it was never boring or overly cheesy, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and AC Slater were bringing their TV movie sit-com charm.

Because the weird nature of this film, we can't give it too many vomits either.  Different story, no cute kids, a little Christmas music here and there, the wise old person in theory was June Lockhart, Maureen Robinson herself from Lost in Space, but she wasn't very wise spending most of her time drinking and insulting people.  Sounds like Christmas at my house with my Gran.  Oh memories.


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