Christmas movies usually teach a lesson – whether it’s appreciation for life, realizing we should give more, or maybe gifts don’t matter that much.
Romantic-comedy Christmas movies do the same thing, and usually have a fun love story tied in. And although it’s cheesy, there are two romcoms I have to watch every year, and Holiday in Handcuffs is one of those movies. I’ll give you a moment to laugh 😉
Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez star in this quirky, silly movie. Not known as the greatest actors in the world, but in this movie, they work really well together and give the movie a youthful energy many romcoms don’t have. If you’re still interested but not sure if you should check it out, here’s why you should:
Themes: One of my favorite aspects of the movie is the theme of acceptance. I’m sure many of you feel the family pressure during the holidays. Why aren’t you married, why don’t you get a better job, why can’t you be more like <fillinyourperson>? And if they don’t say it, you know someone thinks it. Holiday in Handcuffs addresses this issue in a natural way. The entire family is looking to be accepted by someone else, and I often think need for acceptance is often overlooked, so it uses not one but all characters in this theme.
The stars: If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, this is Clarissa and Slater. The preteen/teen in you will appreciate seeing they haven’t changed much. Hart is still expressive and strong, Lopez is still a hunk and suave. Other stars include Timothy Bottoms (Land of the Lost) and Markie Post (Night Court), and June Lockheart (Step by Step, 90210), who you may remember as well.
Script: The script is well written, and there’s plenty of humor for adults. It’s a romcom for the generation who’s now in their ’30s, but fun for today’s teens too. The interactions between the characters feel real, and the funniest parts are the jabs and digs. There’s a good bit of sarcasm and wit, and tt’s not overly mushy. During the “romantic” parts, it still feels like real life.
Premise: With that said, the movie starts out with Hart kidnapping Lopez because she needs a man to take home for Christmas. (Her loser boyfriend dumps her hours before they’re supposed to be there). Sure, it’s a made for T.V. movie and a little silly, but good romcoms will have that special quirkiness that grabs you and makes you want to watch until the happy ending. And there’s always a happy ending.
Is Holiday in Handcuffs an Oscar winner? Nah, but not all good movies need to be. Sometimes it’s nice to kick back and just enjoy a fun, heartwarming movie that gets you away from the stress and to-do lists. So, if you need a good holiday movie that won’t make you cry, check it out. Happy Holidays, everyone!