Holiday in Handcuffs (2007) is obviously a Christmas movie. As you can readily see, I am running out of good Christmas Season movies to review. I have already reviewed the great classics like Alastair Sim’s version of A Christmas Carol, wonderful camp low-budget movies like A Cadaver Christmas, and steaming piles of feces like Elf. This movie was suggested by a friend, free on Xfinity channel 804 (free movies, bitches!), so I decided to give it a shot, and review it straight up.
Gertrude “Trudie” Chandler, played by Melissa Joan Hart is a ditzy and disorganized blonde and fledgling artist who was not having a very good life. She was desperately trying to please her overbearing and controlling parents and was scrambling to get ready to attend the Family Christmas Gulag at their charming, snowy and remote lodge in the woods. She was instructed to bring her boyfriend Kevin, to meet the family and to attend this family ritual. From the very start, we knew that things were going to go horribly wrong, and of course they did. Her shitty boyfriend publicly humiliated her and unceremoniously broke up with her at a Hindu Restaurant where she worked. This left her in quite a tizzy and she immediately had a nervous breakdown and desperately kidnapped a handsome stranger at gunpoint, to pose as her boyfriend, and forced him to accompany her to the parent’s house. Much hilarity ensues as the hapless David is both unable to escape or convince Trudie’s whacky family that he has really been kidnapped.
I won’t spoil the ending in case someone might inexplicably want to actually watch this movie, but all I’ll say is that it is very predictable. This Christmas classic was a mindless and corny chick-flick, but I’ll have to give it credit in that it was totally not cringe-worthy, and I did actually laugh a couple of times. Melissa Joan Hart perfectly played the part of the the exasperated daughter who could not live up to the lofty expectations of her parents. The family Christmas dinner was a fiasco of hilarity with people owning up, fessing up, and coming out as the Christmas wine acted as a truth serum for this dysfunctional family.
You can probably guess what happened next, as in a scene reminiscent of Christmas Vacation, the police arrived and all hell broke loose. Oh, and the ancient June Lockhart played the drunken and always horny Grandma, but this crazy family barely seemed to notice. All in all, and to be fair, I really couldn’t give this film bad marks for a very unique and different Christmas Holiday movie. The settings were beautiful, the acting was more than competent, and the movie moved along briskly with just enough cornball and ludicrous action to make it interesting. If you are looking for a PG family-type Christmas movie that you may not have seen before, this one may be for you.
- “I have nothing to offer my parents, no husband, no grandchildren…My dad even thinks I’m a lesbian” -Trudie
- “My parents rented a cabin in the woods, in the middle of nowhere for Christmas. We are going to be trapped like The Shining” -Trudie
- “What in the hell is that?” -David “It’s a gun” -Trudie “Are you sure”-David [BLAM!]
- “Ah, you, Blitzen. I’m looking for my boyfriend, handsome, nice dimples” -Jessica
- “Handsome? Nice dimples? I don’t see him, maybe this is his way of dumping you” -Lucy
- “I hope you’re not expecting a lot from Santa. A federal offense probably puts you on the naughty list” -David