‘Holiday in Handcuffs’: A Funny Throwback Romance with Melissa Joan Hart


Believe it or not, yet another Christmas season upon us. For many of us, this means we turn our attention to some light-hearted entertainment. If this is what you’re looking for then Holiday in Handcuffs certainly fits the description. 

Holiday in Handcuffs (2006) TV Film Review

She isn’t crazy! This is what Trudie Chandler (Melissa Joan Hart) attempts to convince us of – right after kidnapping a man. To understand this, we first watch as she is dumped by her boyfriend, and struggled in her humdrum job at a small town diner. Needless to say, Trudie is ready to impress her family with an impressive boyfriend. This is where we see her make an irrational plan.

David Martin (Mario Lopez) has big plans for Christmas. He’s set to propose to his wealthy and shallow girlfriend, but instead is kidnapped by Trudie. The free-spirited Trudie whisks David away to a remote location where her family spends the holidays. With nothing better to do but wait out the holidays, and with great reluctance, David eventually plays along, but not before he manages to get a call out…

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‘Holiday in Handcuffs’: A Funny Throwback Romance with Melissa Joan Hart. Mario Lopez co-stars in this 2006 rom-com. Text © Rissi JC

What follows is a quirky comedy with more slapstick than solid humor. Back in the days of glossy magazines, I had seen the advertisement for this as my introduction to it. Part of (now Freeform) ABC Family Channel’s “25 Days of Christmas,” this holiday treat has all the right elements to be “good” fun. Plus if you are a fan of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch you will, no doubt, find this interesting because of Hart.

As I said before, the viewer really cannot take anything about this seriously (this is even true of Trudie’s “bad act”). Holiday in Handcuffs is basically a run-of-the-mill television romance, but writers do throw in a new twist to the common fake dating trope (which is a kidnapping). Minor in the bigger picture, there’s some really beautiful scenery; all white fantasy land, and the trees are beautifully covered in icicles, which is particularly on display during a lovely skating sequence. The ending ties everything up in a neat package, and really couldn’t be any cuter.

So while not perfection it sure beats some television and for those of you willing to chance its minor faults Holiday in Handcuffs is worth watching on a cold winter night, all while enjoying a warm cup of hot chocolate.

‘Holiday in Handcuffs’: A Funny Throwback Romance with Melissa Joan Hart. Mario Lopez co-stars in this 2006 rom-com. #ChristmasMovies #MelissaJoanHart #Movies #RomCom Click To Tweet

Content: this TV film is a soft PG13. There’s mild profanities along with a homosexual joke or two (a character ends up admitting to being homosexual). We see two people “playing” in lingerie. When trying to dissuade a gas station clerk from thinking anything is amiss, Trudie tells him that she’s taking her boyfriend for “one of those weekends.” There is some drinking and Trudie’s grandma is a bit tipsy throughout much of the film. Trudie’s mother makes brief comments about her sex life.

Photos: ABC Family

Note: this review was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has also been updated with new photos, and republished.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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