In Saving My Daughter (Fiefer, 2021) when Chloe was three or four years old she was taken from her mother. Now 18 years old, Chloe is taken again. In a desperate attempt to find her daughter, her mother, Joanna, learns more than she bargained for.
PHONE CALL AND MISSING CHILD
Told in chronological order, the viewer is introduced to young Chloe and her mother as they are out for a day. Wanting to rest a bit, Joanna and her daughter find a bench. Joanna gets a phone call and steps away from her daughter to take it. It’s not clear why she felt the need to step away. The child being three or four wouldn’t know what’s going on. On the other hand, the child is a bit loud, but not in an obnoxious way. This could be the reason to avoid the noise from the child.
The phone call lasts a few minutes. Once done, Joanna turns around to find her daughter gone. Frantically she searches for her but to no avail until six months later when she’s found and the kidnapper, Brittany is charged and sent to prison. Fast forward to Chloe who is now 18 years old, a senior in high school and seems to be functioning fine despite her ordeal. Although Chloe was three or four years old there is a possibility that she could remember what happened and it traumatized her but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Joanna is a nurse and her husband has a fairly good job that requires him to leave town here and there. Joanna lives across the street from her best friend Mandy who used to look after Chloe when she was little. Mandy has a son named Kyle in which Chloe and Kyle are good friends, although Kyle has a bit of a crush on Chloe but she isn’t aware.
LET’S SKIP SCHOOL
One particular afternoon Chloe skips school with another boy named Javier and doesn’t return home. This revelation has put Joanna in a tailspin and reliving her nightmare from when Chloe was young and kidnapped. The same day Chloe doesn’t come home is the same day that her kidnapper Brittany is released from prison. Joanna is aware of this from a phone call from Det. Chen who worked on the kidnapping many years ago. Upon hearing this Joanna automatically assumes Brittany has kidnapped Chloe again and precedes to hunt her down.
Through Brittany’s sister, Joanna is able to locate Brittany and confronts her. Brittany tries to convince Joanna she has nothing to do with Chloe’s disappearance but Joanna is not convinced. Keeping Brittany in the back of her mind she continues looking for her daughter. Even going so far as to demand her husband come home from his business trip, which he does.
Joanna leans on Mandy for support as well as Kyle for information. This is where Joanna learns of Javier who informs her that he and Chloe did skip school. But after their day trip he brought her straight home and hasn’t seen her since. Joanna is convinced Javier has nothing to do with Chloe being missing.
THE POLICE ARE OF NO HELP – AS USUAL
It should be mentioned that Joanna does go to the police straight away. However, Chloe is considered an adult since she’s 18 years old, and there isn’t much they can do. They tell her they have to wait 72 hours before investigating it as a missing person. The time frame is partially wrong. It’s actually 24-72 hours, it just depends on the person’s circumstances (mental illness, depression) or the situation the person is in, such as being a witness to a crime. After waiting the 72 hours she and her husband go back to the police station and speak to Detective Chen.
Trying to make amends to Joanna and to have closure, Brittany explains to Joanna why she kidnapped Chloe all those years ago. It’s not clear if this helps Joanna come to terms with the kidnapping, which no parent can come to a full understanding no matter how justified the action seems on the part of the kidnapper. The viewer also isn’t clear if Joanna accepted Brittany apology for that’s what it is as well, Brittany apologizing for the hell she put Joanna through for those six months.
After some time and almost up to the last minute in the movie does Joann realize who really kidnapped her daughter and why. But once the truth is revealed it becomes a sad state of affairs for all involved.
FEIFER AND PERRONE
Directed by Michel Feifer who has directed a number of movies on LMN such as Secrets in the Water (2020), My Daughter’s Psycho Friend (2020), and Anniversary Nightmare (2019 – not worth watching), and written by Michael Perrone, (Sleeping with my Student (2019), this is a pretty good movie. Although the audience is aware of who has kidnapped 18 year old Chloe, the suspense of finding her is there.
Alicia Leigh (Joanna) and Ashley Jones (Mandy, who may be recognized as Brigette Forrester from The Bold and the Beautiful) were believable in their roles, especially Jones.
The movie keeps the viewer’s interest and attention. Although a two hour movie it seemed longer because of the tense moments throughout but not in an unnecessary way.
Saving My Daughter is currently playing on Lifetime Movie Network. Check your local listings for date and time.