Kate, a workaholic baker, has given up on Christmas, especially this year, when her boyfriend dumps her and she's got to fill an order of 12,000 cookies before Christmas. However, the gift ... See full summary »
Melissa Joan Hart,
Marissa Jaret Winokur
Sylvette, a sassy waitress, Sandro, a macho guy, Sophie, a shy bourgeoisie, and Susan, an American actress, do not know each other and do not have much in common. However, they all have the same father, a scammer named Julius.
Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by award-winning author Wally Lamb. A vivid slice of 1960s life, Wishin' and Hopin' is a wise-and-witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been-and how far we've come. In the small town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, we go straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School with Felix Funicello, a Catholic school fifth-grader in 1964, whose claim to fame is his cousin Annette Funicello, the famous Mouseketeer and teen movie queen. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas!Written by
Full disclosure, have read the book by Wally Lamb - truly a great American writer - upon which the movie is based. The book is a highly entertaining, compulsively readable, heartwarming novel -- and I'm happy to report that the film actually does the book justice!
Was lucky enough to attend a theatrical screening in NYC, and can definitely see this becoming one of those Christmas movies that everyone waits for, year after year, to be broadcast on TV, such as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott and A Christmas Story...
The movie evokes the era quite wonderfully, the child actors are a talented group (and actually likable) -- standouts are the kid who plays Felix, the girl who plays his love interest/arch enemy (ah puberty), the kid who delivers his "NAACP" punchline perfectly throughout, especially at the very end of the movie, and the Russian student who resembles a 13 year-old Uma Thurman. Familiar faces include Molly Ringwald and the lady from Two and Half Men, and the the criminally underemployed Annabella Sciorra (great in her short stint - one season? - on Law & Order: Criminal Intent), who is lovely as Felix's mother.
An added bonus is that the movie has quite a few 'inside jokes' for anyone who has ever attended a parochial school, or who has any experience whatsoever with a "Live Nativity" or "Christmas Pageant."
If you are looking to kick off the holiday season, and pretty much smile from ear-to-ear for two hours straight, be sure to check out this movie. The best new Christmas-flavored movie to come along in a very long time...
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