** Wishin’ and Hopin’

Synthetic Cinema International, Flavorlab,

Chevy Chase, Molly Ringwald, Annabella Sciorra, Cheri Oteri, Conchata Ferrell, Meat Loaf, Danny Nucci, Sosie Bacon, Jesse James, Quinn McColgan, Rosalie Twerski, Blanche Baker, Krysta Rodriguez, Wyatt Ralff

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by award winning author Wally Lamb, Felix Funicello is a young Catholic school boy from Connecticut whose only claim to fame is that his cousin is Mouseketeer and actress Annette Funicello (Krysta Rodriguez). Otherwise things are tough as the nuns are strict and the other kids are on his case all the time. But just before Christmas and pretty new exotic substitute teacher Madame Frechette (Molly Ringwald) shows up from Quebec, and a new student Zhenya (Siobhan Cohen) show up and turn everything on it’s ear. This humorous Christmas tale is reminiscent of “The Wonder Years” and “A Christmas Story” where the narrator (Chevy Chase) is the adult Felix telling us about his trials and tribulations of 5th grade in a parochial school.

This is actually a new film, but it really captures the look and feel of 1964 in which it is set. It really appears to be an old film. Lifetime has brought this out, and obviously it copies a lot on A Christmas Story, but the connection to Annette really makes it unusual. In fact, she even pops in near the end of the movie to visit Felix and his classmates. There is a good deal of humor, but it’s not over the top slapstick humor. Instead it’s much more a subtle humor that is quite refreshing. The characters are fun, and Molly Ringwald’s fake French accent, and her insistence (in character) of constantly reminding people that she’s French. Felix’s family is fun, and the classmates are really a crack-up, but the new girl, Zhenya is a real hoot. I found this to be a really unique Christmas story and I enjoyed every minute of it.

[Click here for the Lifetime home page for this film.]

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
** Wishin' and Hopin', 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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