A ne er-do-well thirty-something attempts to appease her family by kidnapping herself an attractive boyfriend for the family Christmas. Despite unlikely odds and dysfunctional family moments, the two fall in love and share a magical Christmas.
***'Misery' if it were a romantic comedy / Christmas movie*** “Holiday in Handcuffs” (2007) stars Melissa Joan Hart as the underachiever of a liberal family in the Seattle area. When her beau breaks up with her right before her family’s Christmas get-together, she kidnaps a man and forces him to go to the rented cabin as her boyfriend (Mario Lopez). The plot takes “Misery” (1990) and “Buffalo '66” (1998) and morphs them into an amusing romcom / Christmas flick. Melissa was pregnant during shooting, but still cute & winsome. Markie Post appears as the mother and it’s nice to see her again. Layla Alizada as the girlfriend is attractive in a semi-exotic way while June Lockhart is hilarious as the grandmother. I realize this is comedic fluff, but the idea of Stockholm syndrome surfaces. This is a psychological response sometimes seen in hostages in which the captive shows signs of loyalty to the kidnapper, regardless of the peril in which the abductee has been placed. I enjoyed the movie, but the first half is funnier than the second half, which understandably takes a more serious romantic turn. The movie is also seriously marred by the blatantly contrived way the script checks all the idiotic PC boxes. Get Real. The film runs 1 hour, 26 minutes and was shot in Calgary, Alberta. GRADE: C