The latest Lifetime installment of the “At 17″ series featured not only a missing girl but the acting debut of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Brandi Glanville. So, double your pleasure on Saturday (Oct. 19).
“Missing at 17″ joins the long line of fun Lifetime “At 17″ movies titled things like “Accused at 17,” “Stalked at 17,” “Dead at 17,” “Betrayed at 17,” “Fugitive at 17,” etc. In this one, Candace (Ayla Kell) finds out she’s adopted and runs away from home. She gets picked up by an older guy named Toby (Ben Gavin), who feeds her vodka and says words like “chillax.”
Fortunately, he’s not a rapist, so the movie at least zigged when we thought it would zag. Actually, he’s pretty nice. He tells Candace she’s quitting smoking — “You’re too pretty to smoke” — and, upon her waking up after a night of drinking and then falling asleep without brushing her teeth, he asks her for a kiss.
After they sleep together, Toby gives Candace some excellent tips on how to find her “real” mom, even giving her the money to hire a private investigator. Because he’s so super smitten with this 17-year-old girl in a denim vest that he met at a gas station.
Anyway, so after said investigator is hired, Toby gets pulled over and arrested on a failure-to-appear warrant and Candace is returned home. And this is halfway through the movie, so at this point, we’re left wondering what on earth is coming in the second half, especially since Shannon’s “flashforward” to finding her daughter’s body after it’s dumped out the back of a van turns out to be a dream.
When the PI finds some info on Candace’s mom, she strikes off in search of her brother, Vance. He is very welcoming for Candace, informing her that her dad died before she was born — and then she discovers that her bio mom, Callie, is an alcoholic who seemingly wants nothing to do with her.
But Candace demands her mom speak with her and Callie ends up bringing some harsh truths down on Candace’s head about how she had a wonderful upbringing with a mother who loved her so much. Candace leaves, bitterly disappointed, but happy to have met her brother.
However, it spurs Callie to want to stop drinking and Vance is mad and/or jealous about why she couldn’t stop drinking for him. So he’s moving out because he can’t enable her anymore.
Also, the meeting with her bio mom just about drives Candace back to her house, but then Toby turns out to be kind of a jerk when he tells her not to go because her mom will keep them apart. Boooo, Toby.
In the end, Callie and Shannon come together to try to find Candace — and Shannon agrees that Callie can be a part of their daughter’s life.
Then in the dramatic climax, just as the moms and Vance arrive to get Candace, Toby’s criminal activities have caught up with him and a bad dude he stole from shoots up the house. Toby dives saving Candace and she’s very upset. She’s definitely learned her lesson about running away.
Oh, and Glanville’s part was as Candace’s mom Shannon’s employer. Shannon is a make-up artist and Glanville is Erica, some kind of producer. When Shannon has to leave work to search for her daughter, Erica snots, “If you walk out on me right now, I promise you no on eon this set will ever hire you again, myself included.” Oooooh.
The movie ends with Candace’s 18th birthday — and both Callie and Vance show up. Awww.
What did you think of “Missing at 17?”