You might want to sit down. This could take a while.
I mean. I almost can't believe that we watched this movie. Thank god for technology, because if I hadn't had Steph to banter with over Facebook chat, I'm not sure I would have made it through.
To start off, Steph was watching this on DVD via Netflix, and I was watching it via Netflix streaming, so I was not lucky enough to have access to the SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES. Which exist. In an interview with cast member Mario Lopez, he says, "Hopefully Holiday in Handcuffs will be one of those movies that you can watch year after year, with your children." Steph and I did you a favor, and we kept track of all of the family-UNfriendly things that happened in this HOLIDAY CLASSIC.
The movie begins with our leading lady, Gertrude "Trudie" "TREWD" Marie Chandler, trying to convince MARIO LOPEZ to get back into her car. She is rocking a horrible spiral perm, begging the question, "When the hell was this movie made? 2007?!?!?!?!? That can't be right..."
We're then sent back to the past. The before time. The time when Trudie was just hanging out in her loft apartment, inexplicably filled with one million floor-to-ceiling curtains, which I recognized as being from Urban Outfitters, and she is giving herself a home spiral perm. Mere hours before a big interview. WHO DOES THAT. She is on the phone with her mom (MARKIE POST!!!) and we learn that she is also going to meet the family at their winter cabin tonight, for Christmas vacation. And she's supposed to bring her boyfriend Nick. You are now up to speed.
I have weird hair but these antlers cover it well.
Her hair turns out ridic, so she covers it with an equally ridic hat, and she's late and misses her interview and WAAAAAAAAH. She is also a waitress at a diner with her friend who looks like a Nia Vardalos knock-off. Nick shows up and basically breaks up with her (he looks like he's at least 46 so I don't get it). Things are bad for her you guys. And then Mario Lopez walks in and sits down and she takes his order (burger and fries BUT NO FATTENING SALAD DRESSING ON MY SALAD) and then she is somehow thrown into a weird kind of mental breakdown and she decides to kidnap Mario Lopez at gunpoint (USING AN ANCIENT CIVIL WAR ERA GUN I AM NOT EVEN JOKING ABOUT THIS LIKE WHERE DID SHE EVEN GET IT BECAUSE I WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION). Upon exiting the diner through the back, Mario Lopez slips and falls on some ice (which really happened to Steph, and which she says was not cool), and the next thing he knows he is riding along in her car, being restrained by NYLON STOCKINGS. Have you seen Mario Lopez? He's a pretty buff dude. How is this even possible.
I'm not even sure if this is real or a reproduction.
They stop at a gas station and there is a lot of uncomfortable sexual innuendo, mostly perpetrated by the elderly man that works there. HOW IS THIS MOVIE FAMILY FRIENDLY. Mario Lopez ends up in plush red "sexy" handcuffs. I mean, I can't even accurately get into how this transpires, but that is what happens. And then suddenly it's snowing and they are at this cabin in the woods. Where even are they? I don't know. They reference "the city"...
So then TREWD runs inside and convinces her parents that her boyfriend "Nick" (whose real name is David, whose REAL real name is Mario Lopez) does this thing when he's nervous where he pretends that he has been kidnapped. He thinks it's funny SO PLEASE GO ALONG WITH IT I'M NOT A TOTAL NUTJOB WHO KIDNAPPED A STRANGER WHO I SHALL PRETEND IS MY BOYFRIEND WHEEEEEEEEEEE! You guys. THE PARENTS GO ALONG WITH IT.
Two things you should know at this point. 1. Everyone obsessively talks about eggnog this entire movie. HAVE SOME NOG. PASS THE NOG. STAY FOR SOME NOG. Enough with the nog. We don't want the nog. 2. I could not get over how much the dad looked like George W. Bush. It was distracting. I mean, HE LOOKS JUST LIKE G DUBS. With a quick imdb search, Steph unearthed a bombshell - IT'S THE GUY WHO PLAYED GEORGE W. BUSH ON THAT'S MY BUSH, AND ALSO IN SOME MOVIE ABOUT 9/11. So. Those feelings were not misguided.
TREWD is the keymaster, which means that she is in charge of hiding all of the keys and phones so that no one will be tempted to get away from each other. Quality family time needs to be happening. So this explains why Mairo Lopez doesn't just call the police. Or drive away. Or run for that matter.
Oh! Crucial thing that I forgot to mention! Mario Lopez was at that diner because he was supposed to meet his girlfriend there for dinner. He was going to propose to her you guys!!!!! In a diner. But. Whatever. He's Mario Lopez. He does what he wants. HE ROCKS THE TRI-DIMPLE.
Steph and I were both impressed with the amount of continuity that this movie had going on. Every time we brought up a snarky question ("What is she going to do tomorrow when he's still wearing that same one suit?"), they gave a resolution ("Oh...he forgot his luggage. Makes sense. He'll just borrow some of her dad's clothes that are too small for him which he brought along in case he lost 10 pounds over the next 3 days."). Not to say that every resolution made any sense, but. You know.
There are no small roles, only small people. And also there are actually small roles.
TREWD has a brother and a sister, and they are also here to share in the ridiculousness. She believes that her parents love them better because her brother has some impressive job and a lovely girlfriend, and her sister is in law school, and she is just TREWD, the waitress who likes to paint who lives in a gigantic loft filled with $4,000 worth of curtains. It should come as little surprise to you that said brother is gay and is planning on telling everyone at Christmas dinner, and said sister actually dropped out of law school but continued to cash all of the checks that her dad was sending her so that she could open up a Pilates studio in California.
AS YOU DO.
Here are some more things you should know about this movie:
1. There is a sassy grandma. She was on Broadway once. She brings this up at least 12 times.
2. Mario Lopez ends up calling his girlfriend, explaining what happened, and begging her to find him and help. Steph called her Paley McPalerson (or just Paley, for short), and she was a mean pale woman who had a lot of money. And time on her hands to track down Mario Lopez, apparently.
♫ Everyone knows it's PALEY. ♪
3. Mario Lopez decides to become SUPER BOYFRIEND so that when he is rescued and the truth comes out, TREWD will look every crazier to her family. SO MEAN RIGHT.
4. Also, Mario Lopez's parents died when he was 9 you guys. THEY JUST DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT OKAY. He grew up with his grandfather in an apartment (WITH NO CURTAINS THANKS FOR BRINGING THAT UP) and was poor and OMG THE CREYS.
5. The mom is ridiculous, and she has a really weird conversation about underwear, as she is folding a laundry basket full of underwear. I mean, they've been at this cabin for all of three days. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH LAUNDRY THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, AND WHY IS IT 85% UNDERWEAR.
6. TREWD AND MARIO LOPEZ GROW TO HAVE ALL OF THESE FEELINGS, THROUGH VARIOUS CONVERSATIONS AND SHENANIGANS. HE SETS UP AN ICE RINK IN THE YARD WITH APPROXIMATELY TEN MILLION STRINGS OF TWINKLE LIGHTS WHICH HE APPARENTLY HAD ALL OF THIS TIME TO CREATE FOR HER SO SHE WOULD SKATE FOR HIM BECAUSE THAT WAS HER ONLY HAPPY CHRISTMAS MEMORY. IT CULMINATES WITH MARIO LOPEZ FAKE PROPOSING TO HER IN FRONT OF HER FAMILY ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. SO THAT THEY WILL STOP PICKING ON HER ART.
7. The cops end up crashing dinner, after everyone has said their piece about why they're not going to live the life their dad wants them to have any more. And Mario Lopez is the voice of reason.
THEY ALL GO TO JAIL. Then they get released because Mario Lopez drops the charges.
Then this movie has the balls to flash forward to Valentine's Day. VALENTINE'S DAY. I am not mentally prepared for this shift. But anyway, TREWD gets a piece of her artwork into some art show (IN THE NON-DESCRIPTIVE CITY). She tells her brother not to tell her parents, but everyone shows up anyway. She is still talking about Mario Lopez like, "HOW DID I LET HIM GET AWAY?!?!?!? SOULMATES." When in reality it's like, "Mario Lopez is marrying Paley today. He has ceased thinking about you."
And then, and I hope that you're ready for this, MARIO LOPEZ KIDNAPS HER AND BLINDFOLDS HER AND TAKES HER TO AN UNDISCLOSED LOCALE FILLED WITH TWINKLE LIGHTS. It's the office of his new architecture slash art business. AND THE FIRST PIECE IN HIS COLLECTION IS HER PAINTING. YOU GUYS. THEY KISS AND THAT IS LITERALLY THE END OF THE MOVIE.
Exact exchange between Steph and I:
Steph: Look at the city.
Me: The husband was like, Doogie Houser ending with the voice over.
Steph: Totes. Wait...that's it?
Me: That was seriously the end???
Steph: WHAT CITY IS THIS?
Me: No explanation about anything??? (Trudie's artwork by Sarah Holdman)
Steph: WHAT HAPPENED TO PALEY??? HANDCUFF PRODUCTIONS????????????
Me: I CAAAAAAAAAAN'T
Steph: They made a whole production company up for this one TV movie?
Me: HOW is this film from 2007. It should be from 2001.
Steph: Or is it a production company that only makes movies with handcuffs in the title?
Me: Arbor Day in Handcuffs
Talk to the Handcuffs
Me: An Officer and His Handcuffs
So I Married Some Handcuffs
Steph: Oh man, I can't think of anything!!!!!!!
Me: Handcuffs: Unleashed
Steph: INHANDCUFFS (INCEPTION)
Me: Handcuffs Go Hollywood
Steph: Not Without My Handcuffs
Me: Handcuff Favorites: Volume 3
Steph: IGUANA Be In Handcuffs
Me: YESSSSSS. We are hilar.
Number of times Steph and I typed the same exact thing at the same exact time: 5
Number of times NOG was mentioned: 12
Number of times a serious plot hole was conveniently filled with something only semi-believable: 5
Number of minutes spent discussing how much the dad looked like GEE DUB: 12
Number of completely family-inappropriate lines and/or situations: 31 (Including the extremely creepy gas station attendant who made MANY sexual references that were not so much funny as they were creepy as hell. Our favorite line, though, might have to be the mom saying that she pictures Clint Eastwood just to get through annual birthday sex with the dad. Like, CLINT EASTWOOD FROM WHEN. FROM WHAT TIME IN LIFE. BECAUSE. WHY.)
Number of characters I left out of my description: 2 (Raj, the owner of the diner where TREWD works. Maria, Paley's maid. I mean. She's barely in it, but she was funny. She wasn't really funny, I just said that to be nice.)
Final Assessment: You already know everything you need to know. No need to watch this, unless you are interested in watching Mario Lopez's dimples work overtime.
Who put you up to this, Mario? Was it Mark-Paul?