Fans of Wally Lamb’s hefty New York Times bestsellers She’s Come Undone, The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True may have been a bit suspect when he penned a slim little Christmas novella in 2010. Then they opened the book and fell in love with the ’60s-era tale of Felix Funicello (proud cousin of Annette) and his fellow fifth-graders at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic school, whose insular worlds are rocked by the arrival of French-speaking substitute teacher Madame Frechette and worldly Russian classmate Zhenya.
Executive produced by Lamb and starring Molly Ringwald, her Sixteen Candles sister Blanche Baker, Meat Loaf and Conchata Ferrell, this family-friendly film adaptation focuses on Madame’s determination to class up the annual Christmas pageant by arranging her dubious students into artful tableaux vivants.
Wally Lamb’s Wishin’ and Hopin’ premieres Dec. 6 at 8pm ET on Lifetime.
© 2014 Lifetime/Karolina Wojtasik