Lifetime Movie Zoe Gone Should Have Been Subtitled ‘Ugh, Teenagers’

Lifetime movie Zoe Gone Jean Louisa Kelly

Obviously there’s only one person who can find this baby: a lady cop. Her name is Detective Patricia Henderson (Jean Louisa Kelly), and she rocks a blazer like no other. She’s able to calm down Jennifer’s screaming mother, who’s pretty much just doing what everyone watching the movie wishes they could do and blaming Jennifer.

What happens next is just your typical missing baby stuff. Mom folds baby clothes fresh out of the laundry and cries, Jennifer photocopies a bunch of missing baby fliers to hand out, a dead baby is found in a ditch somewhere. Wait… what? We’re only halfway through the movie. It’s obviously not Zoe. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to spend five minutes listening to Jennifer and her mom freak out about it maybe being Zoe as they drive to the site. Of course they get there and it’s not Zoe. It’s another teenage girl’s baby that she abandoned. Do you think this movie has an opinion about whether teens should be parents?

It’s about this time that the movie just gives up on keeping the mystery and shows us who took Zoe. It’s a redhead named Tammy (Andrea Bowen) and a guy I was initially positive was Randy the deadbeat boyfriend. Turns out it was just excellent casting, because it’s actually Randy’s brother Jason (Michael Adam Hamilton). Jason and Tammy are planning to sell Zoe for $200,000. When did this become Baby Sellers and why isn’t Kirstie Alley here with her overabundant hair? This isn’t what I signed up for.

Jennifer quickly learns about this baby-selling plan when Randy shows up and informs her that he’s leaving town, because of reasons he chooses not to disclose. Obviously Jennifer grabs her stepdad’s gun and chases after Randy using her friend’s borrowed car. Ugh, can’t she get her own stuff? Jennifer demands Randy take her to Zoe, and she discovers that Randy planned the kidnapping with his brother because he thought Jennifer hated being a mom and wanted things to go back to the way they were. So basically he’s just, like, really surprised that Jennifer didn’t want him to sell their baby. Who knew?

Because people in Lifetime movies always solve the mystery at the same time but separately, Detective Hamilton learns the identity of the kidnappers thanks to the fact that Tammy tampered with hospital records where she works. Nice work, Tammy. Jennifer and Randy plan to sneak attack the kidnappers and grab Zoe, and it would have worked, too, if only Jennifer had remembered to take the safety off her gun. Obviously Tammy and Jason tie Randy and Jennifer up and escape with Zoe to an abandoned parking garage. Okay, Lifetime’s just trolling me now, right? Cut it out with the parking garages.

Meanwhile Jennifer does her only useful thing this entire movie by getting herself free from the duct tape holding her to the chair so she and Randy can catch up to the kidnappers and get Zoe. But not before Jason shoots Randy and causes him to scream like a banshee. It’s just that I’m not used to movie characters reacting to gunshot wounds by expressing actual pain. Usually they just lie on the floor and at the most grunt a little. Don’t worry, Randy ends up surviving but being arrested, so the douche gets what’s coming to him.

Jennifer has Zoe, but she’s chased through the inexplicably abandoned city streets by Jason, until they end up at some sort of train depot, where she hits him with a convenient tire iron. That just makes him angrier, and he points the gun to shoot at her, but the shot we hear doesn’t come from him. It comes from Detective Henderson, who’s arrived just in time to perform the most cliched movie fake out of all time.

So Zoe’s safe and Jennifer has finally realized how much she loves her daughter. So why is there still ten minutes left? Oh, it’s because Jennifer suddenly wants to give Zoe up for adoption …


That’s right. After spending an entire movie trying to get her daughter back and realizing that she does love her after all, she’s still not so into the idea of being a mom, so she wants to give Zoe to people who can actually take care of her. Look, it’s sort of a relief that Zoe won’t be raised by a whiny teenager, but also WHAAAAAT. The movie ends with Jennifer handing Zoe off to her new mother and basically giving her the same instructions a lady would give to a babysitter who’s watching her kid for one night. I have no words.

(Images: Lifetime)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Trevor

      I agree with you that it was stupid of Jennifer to give up Zoe for adoption after spending the entire freaking movie trying to get her back. And a lot of people on Facebook feel that way, too. And they also think that the movie was very sad and made them cry. Did you think it was sad and tear-enducing?

      • Jill O’Rourke

        I did not. Did you?

      • Trevor

        No, not really.

    • Cori

      Ugh, I hate movies on teen parenthood. The teens are usually insuferable and the movies often feel like lectures. Don’t they realize that watching decent people who had kids as teens struggle constantly and just take care of a baby normally is scary enough?

    • elle

      I guess I was the only one not really bothered by the ending… it came out of nowhere for sure, but just because she realized that she actually did care about her daughter doesn’t magically give her the tools to be able to raise her daughter. And why does nobody ever call the police? When it’s just Jennifer and Randy in the car Randy doesn’t realize the safety is on so Jennifer is in control she could have definitely dialed 911 or called the detective. We know she had her phone with her. Side note: Petals on the Wind promo made me excited and since I “like” lifetime on Facebook (don’t judge me) I know they actually did a good job on the casting for looks. The new actors legit look like they could be the old actors grown up.

    • Cbalducc

      Can you scream, sigh, and wring your hands? If so, you might have what it takes to be an actress in a Lifetime movie!

    • Jose Noriega

      I was stuck in the living room and as my mom watched the movie. This review pretty much sum up whole I feel about the movie. It’s really terrible. I found it pretty odd when they ran to the site of the dead baby and there’s a moment of relief even a change in the background music. Have they forgotten that there is a dead baby there? Also, the main girl cries 97 percent of the movie. First half, she hated being a mom.. Second half, “please bring back my baby!”.. Somehow from the first few moments of the movie.. I knew the ex-boyfriend had something to do with it.. because come on.. It’s lifetime. It’s always a male antagonist. The ending was kinda ironic.. She puts on her “concern mommy” pants and looks for the baby only to give the baby away for adaption. I guess she could go back to partying now..

    • Alexis

      eww thank you for reviewing. I support teen moms in what they choose so watching this would have just ruined my day and then I’d probably spend a couple weeks angry about the screenplay.

    • Erin

      Alicia (Alexandra Holden, who seems to have gotten over that time Ross Geller broke up with her)
      Thank you!! It was driving me nuts trying to figure out where I knew her from

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Haha, no problem.

    • dy

      Wait… there was a Lifetime movie without Judith Light or Nancy McKeon? Damn you, Obama!

    • Misty Stewart

      Actually the redhead is not a guy and is played by Andrea Bowen NOT Andrew.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Whoops, that was a typo. I’m aware she’s not a guy.

    • laura

      is noone getting she placed her baby for adoption at the end BECAUSE she realized she loves her so much. She loved her so much she knew she deserved the best with parents who were ready to give her the life she deserves. She decided to be SELFLESS rather that her being selfish and put her needs first.

      • laura

        *her babies needs first. If she didnt care and just wanted to “get back to partying” she wouldnt have gone through what she did to get her baby back. She did what was best for her child and that is a true mother.

    • Ana

      I read the review while I was watching the movie. I decided to do it because the information about the movie on TV showed TERROR. A mistake, of course. Anyway, what a crazy movie.Teens, do not have babies. Otherwise, you’re going to abandon them and they will die or they will be kidnapped or adoption will be the best solution: this is the message of the movie. I wish the mother had realized she loved the baby and decided to take care of Zoe, but I can’t judge people who give their babies up for adoption. Maybe they really want a better future for their children.

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