Pfeiffer's Motherly Visions
Emilie Janzen (Dedee Pfeiffer - Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back) always gets these feelings and she can spot when someone isn't telling the whole truth, a talent which comes in useful whilst vetting parents at the Harrison Adoption Agency. But she finds her talents go further than that as when her daughter, Lori (Tegan Moss), fails to come home after a party she gets visions when she touches anything and anyone connected to her daughter's disappearance. With each vision painting more of a picture of what happened Emilie and her estranged husband, Richard (Matthew Harrison - Thir13en Ghosts), race against time to try and find Lori before it is too late.
Now the words subtle seem to be missing when it comes to "Seventeen and Missing" because during the set up not only is it reinforced that Emilie is a women who has a strange ability to sense things, even feel things but the issues between her and her estranged husband are over played. It starts to become quite corny when we watch her daughter Lori basically play her mum by saying she will go to her dad when she doesn't get her way.
Fortunately that is just the introduction and "Seventeen and Missing" gets better when we have Lori going missing after a party and Emilie trying to find her. It would be quite ordinary but we quickly learn that Emilie has these visions when she touches things so when she confronts Lori's boyfriend, Curt, and grabs him she gets a vision of what happened between them the night before. Now this is good because each vision builds up a picture of what happened the night before whilst causing her to jump to the conclusion that Curt may have harmed Lori after we discover they had an argument.
And if things had continued in this manner with Emilie slowly building up a picture of what happened to Lori the night before it would have been a really good TV thriller. But "Seventeen and Missing" makes a mistake, it messes with the rules and we have Emilie touching something and getting a vision of what is happening to Lori at that split second. It just feels wrong because you sort of accept that when Emilie touches Curt there is some sort of record of what happened but then to say that Lori's necklace which they discover allows her to connect to Lori's situation now as some sort of supernatural gateway is too far fetched.
And to be honest it is a shame because whilst it does become too far fetched "Seventeen and Missing" still delivers a surprising amount of suspense. As we watch Emilie and her estranged husband, Richard, try to piece things together to find out who has taken Lori and where we do wonder whether she will work it out despite the fact you can guess she will. And there are a couple of quite good twists thrown in as well although the working out of who Lori's kidnapper is ends up being quite cheesy.
What this all boils down to is that "Seventeen and Missing" is a surprisingly entertaining TV movie which manages to be suspenseful. It does push the supernatural element a bit too far but then Dedee Pfeiffer does a great job of selling it even when it becomes too far fetched.