Saving Zoë (2019)

Movie


Saving Zoë (2019)

It's been a year since her older sister's murder, and Echo is still far from being completely all right. Echo has been trying her hardest to be the strong one, while her mother takes too many antidepressants and her father works too much. Now, at the start of her freshman year of high school, Echo receives an unlikely gift from Zoe's old boyfriend: her diary. Echo is hesitant to read it but can't put it down after she gets caught up in Zoe's secret life.
USA
IMDb   5.3 /10
TheMovieDb    6.0 /10
RottenTomatoes  0 %
FilmAffinity   4.4 /10
Creators
Director Jeffrey G. Hunt
Writer Brian J. Adams
Writer LeeAnne H. Adams
Writer Alyson Noel
Information
Release Date2019-10-14
Runtime1h 35mins
GenreCrime, Drama, Mystery
Content RatingR (R)
Awards
CompanyStudio71.
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Dr. Gallagher
Zoe and Echo's Mom
Zoe and Echo's Dad
Theresa (as London Summers)
First Detective
Second Detective (as Jeffrey Hunt)
Cameron Hunt
Cameron Hunt
Videogame Boy

Saving Zoë (film)

Saving Zoë is a 2019 crime drama film, directed by Jeffrey Hunt. The film is written by Brian J. Adams and LeeAnne H. Adams, and is based on the novel of the same name by Alyson Noël. It stars Laura and Vanessa Marano in the lead roles alongside Chris Tavarez, Giorgia Whigham, Michael Provost and Ken Jeong, and was released on July 12, 2019.


Synopsis

Echo, a freshman in high school, is attempting to come to terms with the loss of her older sister, Zoë, who was murdered a year ago. Echo's mother has been abusing antidepressants while her father works overtime. They regularly visit a family therapist, though Echo finds the sessions to be largely unhelpful. Although Zoë's killer, an internet predator, had confessed and was convicted, Echo remains suspicious of Zoë's boyfriend, Marc. One day, while walking home, Echo sees Zoë's diary in the passenger seat of Marc's car and shatters the window with a nearby rock to retrieve the diary and bring it home with her.

Echo begins reading Zoë's diary and learns of Zoë's plans to move to New York or Los Angeles after graduation and begin a modeling career, as well as an unnamed traumatic incident Zoë experienced involving her best friend Carley and two older men named Tom and Jason. Echo later attends a house party with her best friend Abby; there, she shares a kiss with her crush, Parker.

Desperate to uncover the truth about what happened to Zoë, Echo accompanies Carley to Jason's house after school one day. Marc distracts Jason by crashing into his car outside, allowing Echo to sneak into the basement where she finds a laptop containing video files of Jason and Tom brutally raping several underage girls, one of them being Zoë - Carley is revealed to be an accomplice who lures underage girls to the men in exchange for drugs. Carley then approaches Echo and confesses that Jason and Tom film the videos for their child pornography website of which Zoë's murderer was a subscriber.

Tom and Jason barge into the basement, knocking out Carley and tying Echo to the bed. They conspire to leave the state, but as Jason begins packing his car, Marc knocks him unconscious. Parker arrives in the basement just as Echo frees herself and calls the police. Tom enters the basement, but Echo knocks him out before he can attack them. The two men are subsequently arrested and their website is terminated.

Upon finishing the last entry in Zoë's diary, Echo, now having closure, says a final, tearful goodbye to her sister and apologizes for not knowing her well enough. Sitting at a bench at Zoë's favorite spot that has been built in her honor, Echo begins writing her first entry in the diary that Zoë had planned to give her as a birthday gift.


Cast

  • Laura Marano as Echo
  • Vanessa Marano as Zoë
  • Chris Tavarez as Marc
  • Giorgia Whigham as Carly
  • Michael Provost as Parker
  • Nathaniel Buzolic as Jason
  • Ken Jeong as Dr. Gallagher
  • Annie Jacob as Abby
  • Evan Castelloe as Tom
  • Whitney Goin as Mom
  • Jason Davis as Dad
  • London Summers as Theresa
  • Luke Dampier as Chess

Production

In 2018, it was revealed that the Marano Sisters would appear in the lead roles. After joining the project, they added, "When we optioned Alyson Noel's book Saving Zoe ten years ago, we did it because as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, and as women, we were incredibly moved by a powerful story. Now, a decade later, that same powerful story seems to be more relevant than ever" and "We are ecstatic that Blue Fox was as moved today as we were all those years ago and are thrilled to be working with them. Together, we hope to share a film that we couldn’t be more proud of with the world." in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.


Release

In April 2019, it was revealed the film would release on July 12, 2019.


Reception

Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "But even with the occasional voiceover narration, the film can’t quite replicate the appeal of Noël’s original, where a lot of the action is internal, dealing with these women’s opinions and feelings. The mystery plot isn’t surprising enough — and it takes at least a few good jolts to create the cinematic equivalent of a page-turner." Danielle Solzman of the Solzy at the Movies wrote, "You’re certainly welcome to give this film a chance but I left Saving Zoë feeling quite a bit disappointed. I do not see this film as being a complete disappointment but I believe that it could have been executed better. Saving Zoë honestly should have stayed a book." Jennie Kermode of the Eye for Film wrote, "Saving Zoe is, ultimately, a lightweight film about a serious subject. It's competently handled and Marano is an effective lead. It's likely to hit all the important notes for fans of the book but it does little more, avoiding risks and thereby failing to find a voice of its own. If you're in the target audience, then you'll find this a satisfying watch but it will be unlikely to stay with you."