Saving Zoe (Netflix movie review)

Odette is back with another movie review but unlike Ibiza , Saving Zoe is a taaaad more serious.

Odette: Though there is endless content to choose from on Netflix, when I saw a movie called Saving Zoe was added a few days ago I thought it made sense to review something most people haven’t seen yet.

Before I launch into my take on what ended up being a surprising story, I feel it’s worth mentioning – without giving too much away – that sensitive viewers might not enjoy this one.

OK. Here we go.

Saving Zoe (2019)

Basic plot: Echo starts high school right after the summer holiday in which her older sister, Zoe, was murdered. While she and her family try to deal with their grief, Echo finds Zoe’s diary and uncovers some of her sister’s secrets – including clues about her murder.

How it was (probably) pitched to the producers: It’s Riverdale if it were told from the perspective of the unpopular kids.


  • First off, there is no positive connotation to naming your second child “Echo”; you’re either setting them up to be a shadow version of their older sibling or linking them to a mythological creature that ended up fading away while pining for a narcissist who was in love with his own reflection. Neither of these show great aspirations from the parentals.
  • Echo’s convinced that the man arrested for her sister’s murder confessed to a crime he didn’t commit, because – and this is a direct quote – “people confess to crimes they didn’t commit all the time”. Yeah. OK. You do you, girl.
  • It is unfortunate that several characters are only half-written. For example, Echo’s best friend Abby seems to only be there so Echo has someone to talk to, and the writers really saddled Abby with some blah dialogue.
  • That being said, the characters at the core of the story – Echo, Zoe and Zoe’s boyfriend Mark – clearly took up all the writers’ time and creative energy. (The three actors also carried the rest of the cast, let’s be honest.)
  • Fun fact: the actors playing Echo and Zoe are sisters in real life, and it really shows in the complexity of their relationship on-screen.
  • Also there is a party scene early in the movie that is basically the most relatable and realistic high school party I have ever seen. No alcohol, only video games and people looking bored.

Bottom line: This is not at all light watching, but despite the dark parts I found it compelling. It seemed like a very realistic look at how a family deals with grief, and Laura Marano (who plays Echo) shows off some serious acting skills that were honestly wasted in her Austin and Ally days.

Will the man in your life like it?

This isn’t really a guy movie, but the (rather picky) man in my life saw about 20 minutes of it and even he commented that the bit he saw seemed spot-on realistic.

Watch this if you like:

  • 13 Reasons Why
  • Teen drama, but about actual problems
  • The snarky attitude that seems to be Laura Marano’s trademark all over Netflix (face it, the girl is a hero to all of us who didn’t absolutely love high school and all it had to offer).

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