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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
Wish and hope no more, a new holiday classic is born!
To say I was pleasantly surprised by Wally Lamb's WISHIN' & HOPIN' would be a huge understatement. This movie is a total joy! As a male, the "Lifetime" label usually turns me off, but WISHIN' & HOPIN' elevates that label to new heights. Baited by the star names of Molly Ringwald, Chevy Chase and Annabella Sciorra, I was happily surprised to find out that the real stars of this delightful holiday yarn are the cast of mostly unknown child actors, who's obvious off screen summer camp chemistry spectacularly shines on screen. Wyatt Ralff as the lead Felix is an adorable charmer who's fresh faced innocence reminds me of other young stars in their heyday, Macauley Culkin in HOME ALONE and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie in A Christmas STORY. Quinn McColgan plays Felix's nemesis Rosalie with sassy conviction effortlessly carrying the film's conflict to outrageous heights. Then there's the new Russian student Zhenya played by Siobhan Cohen with confident playful glee. Felix's best friend Lonny is played with a Corey Feldman-in-his-GOONIES-glory-days zeal by the charming Shawn Ervin. I could just go on about the rest of the young cast, but you might as well just see for your self. Mark my words, in 20 years people will be watching WISHIN' & HOPIN' and saying they can't believe all of these A-listers got their start in this fabulous little film. WISHIN' & HOPIN" is a joyous laugh-out-loud treat to behold. You might as well start the family tradition this year, because there's no doubt this film will be a staple of the holiday season for years to come. A classic is born. ELF, A Christmas STORY, A MIRACLE ON 34th STREET, A Christmas CAROL and IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE have new company to augment their ranks of holiday greats and so do we. Enjoy!
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