Frets and Fears of Felix Funicello
Felix Funicello (Wyatt Ralff) is a 10 year-old at the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School where after an encounter with a bat in the classroom finds himself with a new temporary teacher in the form of Madame Frechette (Molly Ringwald). There is also a new kid in the class as a Russian girl has joined the masses. It is a confusing time for young Felix who finds himself having impure thoughts over his movie star cousin after being told what French kissing is whilst at home his dad has shown up with an aluminium Christmas tree.
Look I could go on telling you what goes on in "Wishin' and Hopin'" but the easiest thing I can tell you is that with he narration of Chevy Chase this is the memories of Felix being a ten year old back in the 1960s and being brought up in a Catholic family in a Catholic school. And so what we get is the naive confusion of a young child as there is a lot of growing up going on especially when friends are growing up quicker than you. As such we have Felix having nightmares after his friend took him to a horror movie whilst the same friend is interested in girls.
The thing is that whilst the story of a young boy's confusing first steps through puberty is universal and I am sure any bloke watching this will smile at scenes from kissing a poster of a hot girl to a scene involving Felix's friend flirtations with Felix's sister this is a movie all about being a Catholic boy in the 1960s. As such I am sure those who were young boys in Catholic schools back in the 60s will enjoy this a lot more, connecting with the story and the era a lot more.
But the other thing is that this movie was aired as part of a series of Christmas movies and for me "Wishin' and Hopin'" is not really a Christmas movie but more a coming of age movie. Yes it does build to Christmas but spends the majority of the movie focusing on the memories of Felix and the various events in his young life.
What this all boils down to is that whilst I can appreciate who some will love "Wishin' and Hopin'" and feels some sot of nostalgic connection to the coming of age story it didn't do it for me. Although having said that there are some scenes which have a universal appeal which any guy will remember with a wry smile.