My Mom’s Letter From Heaven
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
A single father has a fractious relationship with his rebellious teenage daughter. When a lost letter written to the daughter from her dying mother is miraculously found, everything starts to turn around. Inspired by a true story.
Zoe is a little girl and her mom has cancer. Barry Watson takes his wife, Libby, from reading bedtime a story to her daughter to the hospital because her condition has worsened. The doctors tell Barry Watson that they will have to put his wife on hospice and give her only a few weeks to live. Libby reads the same story to Zoe in her hospital bed and remembers times when she is healthy.
Alex, a hot priest, visits Libby in the hospital. Since this is Lifetime I’m waiting for it to be revealed that he is having an affair with Libby, but he just tells Libby that their congregation is praying for her. Alex leaves with Zoe, leaving her parents to talk. Libby makes Barry Watson promise to love again and find Zoe a new mom someday. Libby also gives Barry Watson a letter for him to hold onto for Zoe. Libby asks him to give it to Zoe when she needs it. They cry and look at old family photos…………….. What is happening? I think it is good that Lifetime is handling death and grief in such a head on fashion. However, this earnestness is a bit off putting, especially when as a viewer I’m waiting for “Lifetimey” twist.
Flash to twelve years later and Zoe is grown up and Barry Watson is a DILF. Zoe is a “bad teen” who wears fishnet stockings, packs a bag lunch, and makes out with a boy who drives a retro car. Jenny, Zoe’s old friend, calls Zoe out for being a cliche and then calls her a slut. Hannah goes too far when she tells Zoe:
“You’re mother would die all over from embarrassment.”
The girls fight and are sent to the principal’s office. Zoe gets suspended on her first day of school. Then goes drinking with the boy (Liam), they get it own in the backseat of his car. Barry Watson is not having it and grounds Zoe. He takes her phone and brings his daughter to work. Hahaha, he makes her work at work. This tactic doesn’t work and Zoe sneaks out at night. Barry Watson makes her go to church the next day, because God doesn’t care what you wear.
At church, Hot Priest Alex is there and counsels Barry Watson. His advice? Have Zoe talk to a female figure in her life, who can act as a mother figure. Barry Watson has a girlfriend, Rachel, who wont fit the bill.
After Zoe realizes that her dad threw away the books that her mother used to read to her she spirals into depression. She ignores Liam and just lies in her bed all day, occasionally, getting up to throw up. (Because she is pregnant?) Meanwhile Barry Watson’s relationship with Rachel is on the rocks. She wants to move in and he is not ready.
Barry Watson is pretty clueless that his daughter is totally pregnant. He is more focused on making sure Zoe and Rachel get along. (Which they don’t.) The couple argues while Zoe listens on upstairs. She can’t take the fighting and runs away, again. Zoe heads to her mother’s grave and lights a candle for her. She talks to her mom and asks for help/someone to talk to. Zoe tells her mom that she is pregnant and she wishes she could go back to how things were when her mom was alive. Zoe begs for her mother to tell her what to do. (The scene is actually pretty well acted and written.)
Libby, the mom, comes to Barry Watson in a dream and reminds him of the letter she wrote. An hour in and we are finally at the LETTER. You know, My Mom’s Letter from Heaven. He can’t find it. He also can’t find Zoe, who has now runaway. The police are called. Barry Watson finds the pregnancy test and goes to Hot Priest Alex, who gives generic advice. He offers to call his daughter, Jenny, who agrees to “ask around.”
Maggie, owns a bookstore and is also single. (Things are getting REALLY Hallmarky up in here.) She finds Zoe’s book AND the sealed letter… which she opens and reads. (Rude!) Maggie comes from the town over to see Hoe Priest Alex. She shows him the letter and he calls Barry Watson. He is thankful but is still missing his daughter. He sends her daughter video via email. In the video Maggie shows the book and the envelope and tells her to come to her bookstore.
Zoe goes to the bookstore and Maggie shows her the letter. Maggie, classy as she is, apologizes for opening and reading the letter. Zoe sits down and reads the letter, it basically says: Libby hopes the best for Zoe and tells her to listen to her father. She also tells her that motherhood is a gift and she hopes that Zoe experiences it too. Libby asks for Zoe to let her father move on and love someone else.
Maggie lets Zoe spend the night and they talk. Zoe tells Maggie that she is pregnant and Maggie shares her story of having a daughter who she gave up for adoption. They connect and Zoe agrees to go home, only if Maggie comes with her. They have breakfast with Barry Watson. He thanks Maggie for helping his daughter and she gives him some useful parenting advice.
Barry Watson breaks up with Rachel and they start going back to church as a family
Flash to seven months later. Zoe is working in Maggie’s bookstore and they get along great. Liam shows up to finally talk about the baby, he sells his car and gives Zoe a envelope of cash. He wants to be involved and help with the baby. Zoe forgives him for ignoring her for most of his pregnancy and lets him feel her belly…. Zoe really needs someone to tell her that going back to the deadbeat boyfriend is a terrible idea.
Zoe has her baby in the church? Later at the hospital, Zoe apologizes for being so selfish. Barry Watson tells him that he is proud of her and so would Libby.
On their way home they bring the baby to Libby’s grave in the middle of winter?!?! Apparently Barry Watson are dating Maggie.
The movie ends with Barry Watson reading the book to his granddaughter that Libby read to Zoe. Totally advocating teen pregnancy? Have these people never seen Teen Mom?
This movie is part of Lifetime’s Movies “That Inspire Weekend.” I’d be interested to see the ratings for this weekend. It is very off brand for Lifetime movies and seems like a play for acquiring Hallmark viewers.
Minority Report: Hot Priest Alex, Maggie, Jenny, and a good amount of the supporting roles in this movie.
Based on a true story? Like of a teen mom?
❤️❤️❤️ (3 Hearts)
🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime