Learning Lessons in Teen Parenting
Having been a teen mum herself Alicia Lynne (Alexandra Holden) always wanted more for her daughter Jennifer (Sammi Hanratty) but history has a way of repeating itself when at 16 she also falls pregnant with the dad, Randy (Michael Grant), not wanting anything to do with them. It makes things difficult at the Lynne home as Jennifer and Alicia lock horns over the baby and the mistakes whilst Alicia's partner Walter (Jeff Branson) keeps telling Alicia that baby Zoe is not her problem. But when Zoe is abducted it brings out Jennifer's maternal instinct as she realises how much Zoe means to her and makes Alicia realise how much her daughter needs her.
About 30 minutes into "Zoe Gone", also known as "Abducting Zoe", we get the kidnapping of the baby in the park before that we get plenty of build up to establish certain things. One is that Jennifer has made the same mistake as her mum Alicia and this is the perfect set up as we have a teen mum wishing she wasn't as the care free life she had is gone. But at the same time we have the mother angry because her daughter who she wanted so much more for has made the same mistake she did and knows that in becoming a teen mum she has changed her life, but she takes that anger out on her daughter.
Now that is the first 30 minutes and we learn other things along the way and whilst after those 30 minutes we have the desperate search for the missing child and the mystery surrounding who abducted the child what we get is character growth. On one hand we get to see Jennifer realising how much she loves Zoe and on the other we have ALicia realising how much she loves her daughter and no matter what mistakes she has made needs her support not her nagging. I actually liked this side and made more for more entertainment than the whole abduction storyline which unsurprisingly is far fetched.
Now "Zoe Gone" features a few familiar names and faces especially if you are a fan of TV movies with Alexandra Holden grabbing your attention with some entertaining hysterics whilst Sammi Hanratty does a decent job of a teen struggling with the loss of her old life. Then there is Jean Louisa Kelly who gives us a detective with a kind, caring side which feels slightly unreal but allows quite a sweet, positive performance which is what this movie calls for. But this is one of those movies which when you have a familiar name in a prominent role but they don't appear for a while sort of suggests something.
What this all boils down to is that "Zoe Gone" is first and foremost typical of the made for TV genre and as such if you are not a fan of far fetched and over the top it may not be for you. But it is an interesting spin on a child abduction storyline which brings in character growth to the mix.