Wishin' and Hopin' (2014) Poster

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9/10
Another Christmas Classic
Dlsmoore-169-10141425 November 2014
So good to finally see a movie that made me laugh-out-loud. It brought back so many wonderful memories of growing up in the early 60's!! The cast, which is mostly kids, did an outstanding job. I could see myself, and so many of my classmates in their characters. No detail was left out.I could not believe they put bells on their shoes, something I did as a young girl during the Christmas season. I felt like I was reliving every Christmas production I had been in, including the mishaps. Thanks to Wally Lamb, Cast, and Everyone involved, for bringing this story to life.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Premiere in New London, Connecticut and now I am looking forward to seeing it on the Lifetime Channel. This film will be one of those Christmas Classics that we watch with our families every year .
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9/10
Wish and hope no more, a new holiday classic is born!
ianzgreat24 November 2014
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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9/10
Great Christmas Movie
ldamboise6 December 2014
This movie was fantastic. Not only did we find ourselves laughing throughout the movie, but it really spun a story that we got invested in. The cast was a great mix, really drawing us in, as if we were there experiencing it along with them. I'm so glad that we watched this movie!

This is a movie that the whole family can enjoy for sure. My husband is more of an action movie type of guy and he was laughing through the entire movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone! They also did a fantastic job portraying the period of time this movie was supposed to take place. So authentic!!! They focused on every last little detail!!! I just can't say it enough, they did everything right to pull us right in to the story and feel as if we were truly there!!!!
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9/10
Way to kick off the holiday season!
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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9/10
Wishin and Hopin Holiday Classic
jeff-american7 December 2014
While watching this film, the question of "Holiday Classic" kept coming to mind. First, we thoroughly enjoyed watching this film as a family. The story line is entertaining throughout. The pace is lively and engaging. The slice of time, along with vibrant writing helps bring nostalgia to the forefront. The bits of coming of age humor make the film just edgy enough to keep you surprised. The film has the feel of "A Christmas Story" without repeating it. The seasoned actors such as Molly Ringwald and Conchata Ferrell were great, but I think the young actors such as Wyatt Ralff, Quinn McColgan and Siobhan Cohen helped cement this film into Holiday Classic status.
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9/10
Hysterically wonderful
Mpoiesz24 November 2014
We went to the premier with out 8 and 10 year old daughters with cautious optimism as there has not been a worthy Christmas movie since Elf. To our amazement we were entertained for the full 90 minutes. The lead actor Wyatt Ralff made his on screen debut with the flare of a seasoned professional (and to think he is only 10). The casting was perfect and the set was realistic 1960's. Growing up catholic, It brought back many childhood memories. The audience was engaged and laughing throughout the premier. Narration by Chevy Chase was perfection. It is destine to become a Christmas classic. A must see for all ages.
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9/10
#WishinandHopin
RTHRyan2 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Wally Lamb's hit novel #WishinandHopin is one of those films that only comes along once in a lifetime. The 1960's tale is something everyone of all ages can identify with. It was incredible to see the young talent of Wyatt Ralff (aka Felix Funicello) playing the lead is this epic tale of a youngster coming of age during the Christmas Holiday. The entire crowd was laughing out loud which is something you rarely see in films these days. There are so many funny scenes, it's one belly laugh after another. I would say most people will want to watch this movie over and over again. It stars Wyatt Ralff, Molly Ringwald, Danny Nucci, Meatloaf and has Chevy Chase narrating as Felix's adult conscious which makes for an hysterical combination.

This is a must see Film!!!
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8/10
Life as a 10 year old boy in 1964... a Christmas Story
anniepajamie123 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Felix Funicello has a lot going on, in his life & in his mind, as he tries to sort out the many challenges of being a not-yet-a-teenage guy. Older sisters,famous cousins,girls at school,nuns,lay teachers, parents, priests,TV personalities, his best friend & fry cooks all have a way of adding to his pressure & confusion.

This book was very funny, and so is the movie, with a fine cast & excellent child stars. The crowded theater audience saw a few things coming and made a loud noise of sympathy on these occasions, and at a few points the laughter drowned out the next line of dialog.

While this film may be destined for TV, it was a real pleasure to enjoy it in a true movie palace at the premiere, because it was a classic sort of story: clean enough,yet full of adult-style humor, set in a now classic time (with simple, understated, yet near-perfect sets)...and watching it with a large audience made the overall effect akin to time travel.

Fans of Jean Shepard's "Christmas Story" will find themselves watching Felix as he is Wishin' & Hopin' again, and again in years to come, I feel sure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see if there's any Ranger Andy Shows on YouTube.
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9/10
Best Christmas Movie since '83
mcgovern726 December 2014
The best Christmas movie in more than three decades: A nun-chasing bat, a beautifully pig- tailed Russian girl who conditions with mayo and has a mean right hook, a boy straight out of a comic strip, the most formidable Miss Goody Two-Shoes since Reese Witherspoon's Tracy Flick, and the adorable Molly Ringwald -- all in one Catholic classroom during Lyndon Johnson's administration -- deliver the most joyful Christmas movie since A Christmas Story (circa 1983)! An added treat: seeing some pop culture/cinematic favorites in unexpected roles: scintillating Annabella Sciorra as a sweet suburban mom, "Bat Out of Hell" Meat Loaf as a priest, and laugh- master Cheri Oteri as a nun in need of a hair-fix. If you laughed out loud while reading the book, you'll have just as many yucks in this film version. And if you love the film, you gotta check out the book. A wonderful way to ring in Christmas 2014!
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9/10
Too funny for words!
laurene77724 November 2014
I laughed so hard that noise didn't come out of my mouth. This movie brought back so many wonderful childhood memories because the situations were realistic and probably common to most of us. My husband stayed awake through it all, and I know it had to be entertaining to keep his attention.

It was a joy seeing the local High School being used in the movie. I also enjoyed all the vintage design elements of the 1960's era; the way the kitchen table was set, clothing, hairstyles, Christmas decorations, cars, etc. I know we take these elements for granted when we see a film, but these folks really thought things through to the tiniest details.

The cast did a great job. We were especially impressed with the children because they were so believable in their parts. Wally Lamb's upbeat personality showed through in his book and in this movie. He acknowledged that he included a little bit of his own childhood.

We all have our favorite Christmas movies; ones that we enjoy seeing with family and friends, movies that inspire us and help us reflect on what's important in life. I think Wishin And Hopin could be the new Christmas classic because it meets all that criteria.
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9/10
Cute funny movie
rinas-168-16939224 November 2014
This reminded me of The Christmas Story... Very funny, the kids outshines the adult actors. The setting was perfect... NFA school in Norwich. Molly was a little disappointing.. Hated the accent! There were several times where I was brought back to my own Catholic school experiences and the narration by Chevy Chase was perfect. I am a big fan of Wally Lamb as an author and wish they made all his books into movies. This one being the only none serious one I can see why it was chosen. Hope to see his other works on the big screen soon. The kids were the breakout stars particularly Felix's best friend. The references to Annette Funnicello as the cousin with the French kissing and confessional were hilarious!
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9/10
Great new Christmas Classic
ackrental25 November 2014
A surprisingly sweet and endearing film about Catholic School, Christmas and adolescence. The talented young cast all do a great job conveying the special horrors of coming of age and the film itself lands one great joke after another. I have not laughed out loud as many times during one movie in a long time. Particularly strong performances by MeatLoaf, Blanch Baker, Annabella Sciorra and the numerous under 18 actors are all a pleasure to watch. Very few films are able to reach this high level of humor while remaining well within the bounds of good clean material. I am a long time fan of the writer, Wally Lamb and cannot wait until his next novel is adapted for the screen.
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8/10
Touching and funny holiday throwback to what it felt like to grow up in the 60's surrounded by parochial school culture and the influence of media in the 60's.
positiveparent24 November 2014
Wonderful film to capture the spirit of the season and the feel of the times - well crafted, insightful story line about the inner lives of children delivered through the eyes and hearts of the kids. Even the parents are largely portrayed as how kids might see them. Of course Wally Lamb's book is a powerful inspiration but the acting, directing and every aspect of the film really does the book justice. Lamb has an amazing ability to get inside the heads of his characters and this film doesn't disappoint. Great fun - will help your kids understand how we baby boomers grew up! Loved the precise phrases of verbal kid disdain, "I know you are, but what am I?" Don't miss it.
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9/10
a new Christmas favorite
bellace23 November 2014
I attended the premier of this movie this afternoon in New London, at the beautifully restored Garde Arts Center. The movie was filmed locally, with a lot of local folks as extras- which added to the enjoyment of recognizing familiar faces. Two shows, completely sold out, with the net proceeds being divided among three local food pantries. Wally Lamb is a class act, and the folks who made this movie made it true to the spirit of the book. Casting Conchetta Farrell and Meat Loaf as a nun and the parish priest was perfect- can you think of two folks less likely to be playing these parts? I did keep thinking of 'Paradise By the Dashboard Light' and 'Two and a Half Men..." each time they were on camera. The kids were believable,the story line believable.. overall, a thoroughly enjoyable experience!! In fact, it is the ONLY time I have felt the movie was better than the book. It will be on the Lifetime Channel on Dec. 6 at 8- watch it and laugh- finally, a non-smarmy Christmas movie.
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9/10
A wonderfully fun movie of the life of a fifth grader in 1964 We saw the premier today and laughed out load a number of times
nelsonj-167-14721423 November 2014
So many fun moments that you will laugh out loud. anyone that attended catholic school will get a special kick out of the movie!!!

It looks at adolescent boys being boys, the birds and the bees talk with dad And kids trying to fit in by thinking they understand jokes and life just to not be mocked.

Its a movie that the whole family can enjoy and laugh together

A wonderful Christmas movie that reflects real life along with all its imperfections.

The movie is also shot in the Norwich ,CT area and it is fun to see the local landscapes in the film
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8/10
Very warm and well presented family entertainment
clancyrts8 December 2014
A very loving Christmas story, well directed and played by a fine cast. The lead character is especially enjoyable, as such a story demands, and there is not the usual Hollywood overplay on bad versus good characters. Everyone has their own personality as people do, neither dastardly nor saintly, just people/kids. My wife and her sister watched it with me, we are TCM and movie fans in general. All three of us thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I did, by the way, experience many Catholic Christmas school plays as a child. Our parish priest was not a heavy drinker, he smoked a cigar, some of the nuns were certainly way out there, and the kids mostly looked at the old round clock waiting for 3pm. Lay teachers were uncommon but I had one in 4th grade, not as colorful as Molly Ringwald, but just as devoted.
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9/10
Certain to become a Christmas Classic!
robertmalouf24 November 2014
This movie will without a doubt become a Holiday Classic!

From the opening of the movie to thew final credits it is a can't miss hit! Set in a small CT town that could be home to any of us the movie follows a young boy's life as a student in a Catholic school and the many personalities he has to deal with on a daily basis. From his not so helpful sisters to his classmates in school, there is never a dull moment.

It is certain to make you laugh and undoubtedly bring back memories of your younger years! Molly Ringwald is wonderful as the substitute teacher and all of the young actors and actresses are remarkable.

Chevy Chase does a great job narrating the film.
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9/10
Totally Delightful with Lots of Laughs
dfrank924 November 2014
If you ever attended parochial school, you'll love the way they capture the nuns and priests in this movie. The screenplay captures the essence of Wally Lambs' book while taking some detours/new routes to arrive at the intended destination ---Laughterville! Even though the time period was the early 60's, so many events depicted in these young boys and girls lives are easy to relate to for all whoever grew up.

Casting and acting is very good, especially the young actors playing the main characters.

Prepare yourself for an evening of entertainment and humor laced with enough nostalgia to leave you laughing and crying at the same time.
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9/10
New Christmas favorite
hollyjcarb23 November 2014
"'Wishin and Hopin" has all the makings of the next Christmas classic. Family, traditions, and the stereotypical Catholic school influence culminating in the inevitable Christmas pageant gone awry. The kids steal the show in this one and Ralphie (Christmas Story) has met his match in the young Wyatt Ralff as Felix Funicello. The gags are predictable, but innocent enough to have you burst out laughing because you know whats coming. The best part of this movie is that each of us have lived some part of it growing up. Watch and see where you find yourself or your family...

The movie is shot mostly in the Norwich CT area, home of the original author Wally Lamb. The sets include places familiar to his childhood, and his Christmas memories. The movie does a terrific job of capturing Christmas with 1960's values. It will remind you of the good times adults remember about their childhood Christmases with family.
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Funniest movie I have seen in a long time!
catherin_thomas26 November 2014
The book was a great read. When I heard they made a movie, I had reservations. I was fortunate enough to attend the first showing and I'm glad I did. It was tastefully made and it doesn't matter how old you are, you will laugh from beginning to end. Wally knew what he wanted when he perfectly cast the six leading kids. Wyatt Ralff (Felix), Quinn McColgan (Rosalie), Olivia Pungitore (Pauline), Siobhon Cohen (Zhenya), Christopher Bogomus (Marion) and Shawn Ervin (Lonny). The kids acting abilities certainly stole the show, not to discredit Molly Ringwald, Annebella Sciora, Danny Nucci. In most movies, we all fall in love with the leading character and this is no different. Felix is adorable, talented and will be a household name real soon. The other kids very talented but we have seen their characters many times in many films. Zhenya (Siobhan Cohen) was fantastic and a breath of fresh air. My favorite has to go to a supporting role. I fell in love with Pauline Papelbon (Olivia Pungitore) who caught my attention since the trailer. Her strapping performance, shy, quiet demeanor had a powerful punch, along with those adorable cheeks, certain to see her in future films. Carmila Banus and Sosie Bacon performances fit their part perfectly. Meatloaf, Cheri Oteri, Blanche Baker, Conchata Ferell and Jesse James all cast sensational.
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9/10
Laugh out Loud Funny
calikami7 December 2014
Wishin and Hopin was an amazing story that takes you back in time to the 1960's. It honestly feels like you are in the 60's from the set, clothes, language and general overall tone. The kid actors did a fantastic job. I cannot believe what a commanding actor that young Wyatt Ralff is. I really loved seeing Molly in her role and Chevy Chase's narration was perfect. Felix (Wyatt Ralff) and many others in this Christmas classic are destined for big things. I found myself laughing out loud more than once during this film. I am actually going to watch it again. What a funny movie. Thank you again for all the laughs.
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9/10
Laughter and Memories
slsteele2324 November 2014
I had the privilege of seeing the world premiere of this movie yesterday and it was awesome! Wally Lamb is one of my favorite authors, and I was not disappointed in this film adaptation. Not only did it bring on the nostalgia through it's filming locations, but I laughed so much while watching it. Molly Ringwald was fantastic, as were the kids. Definitely ones to watch! As one fellow attendee put it, it's "the new Christmas classic." I couldn't agree more. It will be part of every Christmas from now on. I can't wait to read the book now! Watch this movie. You'll love it. Wally, the cast, and the crew all did a marvelous job bringing 1960's life to the big screen. I would give this an 11 if I could.
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4/10
A Christmas Story
Prismark1027 November 2016
Wishin' and Hopin' is an untypical Lifetime movie based on a nostalgic book about a Connecticut kid Felix Funicello a 10 year old at a Catholic school whose quirky family own a small diner and are related to a famous celebrity.

He gets to all sorts of scrapes at school with his friends and the film centres on the class preparing for the Christmas play at school when they get a new substitute teacher from Quebec as well as a new student from Russia.

The film did remind me somewhat of A Christmas Story? with all the nostalgia and the narration is provided by Chevy Chase as the older Felix.

The film has a barbed look back at school days of the 1960s, poking fun at Catholic teachers, the Monsignor is played by Meat Loaf! You encounter the kind of classmates I had at school and also see them on the verge of puberty although at 10 years old they were rather early for puberty.

I never really found this plot heavy and nostalgia only can take you so far. It kind of reminded me of shows like The Wonder Years and Chevy Chase's narration told me that Felix must had lived a hard life as its taken it out in his voice.
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8/10
They Do Make Good Christmas Theme Television Movies
Christmas-Reviewer14 September 2016
Fifth-grader Felix Funicello (Ralff), the cousin of famous Mickey Mouse Club Mousekteer and teen idol/movie actress Annette Funicello, lives in the fictional small town of Three Rivers, Connecticut. In 1964, he and his classmates at St. Aloyius Gonzaga Parochial School have a momentous fall semester after lay substitute teacher Madame Frechette (Ringwald) and Zhenya, a new student from Russia, arrive. Madame Frechette implements a new concept for the school's Christmas pageant and competition for key roles ensues. The story is narrated in the present day by Felix as an adult (Chase)

The cast delivers in this film. Everyone is perfectly cast. The film is also captures the feeling of America in the 1960's. I loved the fact that this film had great moments of comic relief. It is self aware not to become a film that will send you into a diabetic attack. The film has minor sexual innuendo that small children won't understand. However I think most kids under 10 won't want to watch this anyway. The film was made for Lifetime Television and when it airs watch it. Its a rare Christmas Treat and not a Christmas fruitcake
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9/10
Fairly Relative
Deereal9913 December 2014
Stumbled upon this movie while movie surfing with my husband last Saturday night. We found it hilarious, true to life, especially to my husband who attended 12 years of catholic school, and it definitely had A Christmas Story feel, but much closer to my generation, so it was very easy to relate to! Family dynamics play out, adolescent issues, class dynamics, peer relationships, and oh yes, the Nuns! Molly Ringwald is perfect for the part of the long term sub, great to see her again! The blunders of puberty, and the oh so oops, shouldn't have done that childhood mistake that the community will discuss for years to come, was one that my husband and I literally felt the anxiety build prior to it happening! I want to see it again. Well done !
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