Hart, Lopez Hooked on 'Handcuffs'
A romance of human bondage, but not the kinky kind
Welcome to the dilemma Melissa Joan Hart faces in "Holiday in Handcuffs." The former "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" star and "Saved by the Bell" actor Mario Lopez have been cast as the leads in ABC Family's latest romantic comedy.
Poor Trudie (Hart) is a painter -- or she would be if she could pay her bills with her art. Instead, she's struggling to make ends meet as a waitress. With the holidays around the corner, life just gets worse when she fails an interview for a "real" job, her boyfriend dumps her, and her family is expecting to see her enjoying happy coupledom firsthand. No wonder she snaps and kidnaps the first single, male, fairly age-appropriate customer she sees. Now, Clay Martin (Lopez) is her reluctant hostage who must convince her parents that he's "The One."
Ron Underwood will direct "Handcuffs," which will begin this month in Calgary, Alberta, based on a script by Sara Endsley. The movie is scheduled to be part of ABC Family's annual 25 Days of Christmas programming.
Although Hart, 30, acted for a number of years as a child, she first rose to fame in the early '90s as the star of the Nickelodeon show "Clarissa Explains It All." She continued her success with the long-running "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," based on the Archie Comics character.
She's also stepped behind the cameras to direct episodes of "Sabrina," "So Weird" and "Taina." Her film credits include "Can't Hardly Wait" and "Drive Me Crazy." Just last year, she gave birth to her a son, Mason Walter Wilkerson, with her husband, Course of Nature lead singer Mark Wilkerson.
Lopez, 33, first set teen hearts aflutter with his dimpled take on wrestler A.C. Slater on the high school sitcom "Saved by the Bell." He continued the trend on the latest "Dancing With the Stars," for which he came in second place. He's hosted "Weekend Extra," co-hosted the syndicated show "The Other Half" and had a guest spot on "Nip/Tuck." Lopez's latest gig is hosting the 2007 Miss America pageant, live on CMT on Monday, Jan. 29.