Finding my Daughter (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When Ashley was sixteen, she had to give up her newborn daughter for adoption but always wondered what happened to her. Eighteen years later, she receives a letter from Brittany requesting to meet her birth mother. Delighted and a little anxious, Ashley gets on the first plane. By the time she arrives in her small hometown, Brittany has vanished. The only people willing to help her are bookstore owner Scott and Jake, the local sheriff who is also Ashley’s old high school boyfriend.
The movie begins with a teen in labor; her mother forces Ashley to give the baby up for adoption. Ashley names the baby Faith, and a nurse clips a lock of the newborn baby’s hair before taking the baby to her new parents. Ashley promises to find her daughter someday and promises a shady man that she will never speak of the baby again. Then she runs off to Chicago, leaving her family behind.
Eighteen years later, Ashley is in Chicago, working as a social worker reuniting adopted children with their birth parents. Ashley gets a letter from Faith, who found her and wants to meet. Her unsupportive boyfriend breaks up with her at the very moment she should be celebrating. What a jerk! Ashley flys back to her hometown to meet her daughter in a cafe.
Cut to two teens, Brittany and Emma, pulling up to a cabin in the middle of the woods. Britt is hoping to meet up with her biological mother, Ashley, and has been corresponding with someone impersonating her. The two teens are locked in a shed after having their photos taken.
Ashley runs into a few guys that she used to know while she is in town; the first is a store owner Scott and the second is a cop named Jake. They are brothers. Jake is working on a call for an abandoned car that belongs to one of the teens. Ashley invites herself to join in the search and almost tells Jake that he is looking for her daughter. Jake wonders why Ashley checks in to a creepy motel and stays in a room that Brittney was renting. Troy, the motel owner, breaks into the toom and watches Ashley shower. Then he writes, “Go Home.” on the mirror in lipstick. (What is this, RuPaul’s Drag Race?)
Jake moves Ashley into his place. Scott stops by and is surprised to see Ashley and maybe also jealous? Ashley spends time with Scott, who warns Ashley that she badly hurt Jake and should be careful around him. Ashley doesn’t take that advice and has sex with Jake. (I mean, I would too, Jake is hot.) After the sex, Asley goes downstairs to get a glass of water and is attacked by a masked stranger with a gun. Jake saves her and then screams at her. He is giving off mixed signals.
Brittney and her friend are served mac and cheese with love notes and ketchup smiley faces on them back in captivity. She seduces her kidnapper and knees him in the balls. The girls run and try to get away, but the kidnapper shoots Emma and kills her off-camera.
Jake and Ashley find Emma’s body. Ashley comes clean about putting the baby up for adoption and the baby being Jake’s. He argues with her some more, and Ashley goes running to Scott. She tells Scott the same story, and he is more sympathetic. Ashley uses the bathroom and notices the town is the same as the motel. She realizes that Scott kidnapped her daughter and tries to call for help, but Scott steals her phone and suddenly has a stutter? He drugs Ashley and takes her to the family cottage.
Jake confronts his father about paying off Ashley and her family to disappear. He did it because they were LatinX, and it wouldn’t have looked suitable for his political aspirations. Jake finds the hairstylist dead and is on the hunt to find Ashley.
Ashley wakes up and tries to talk sense into Scott. She tells him that she thought they were just friends. Scott throws Ashley in the shed with her daughter, and they have a mini-reunion. Not the one they had planned, but they seem happy to see one another, even if a psycho kidnaps them with a verbal tick.
The women escape and run through the woods. They are followed by an unconcerned Scott, who is also followed by his cop brother and deputy with shotguns. Jake saves them. Then while they huddle around the ambulance, Ashley introduces Brittney to her father. Not quite the family reunion they envisioned. They all move in together and play house. The end!
Also Known as Gone: Finding Faith or Gone: My Daughter
Minority Report: Ashley and her mother,
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime