Rites of passage inform “Zoe,” but the drama about peripatetic women has an unsure sense of its storytelling compass, leaving it waylaid in a happy but unconvincing ending. Exuding the free-floating ambiance of indie movies a decade and more ago, pic lacks the energy and inspiration to freshen its familiar elements. While teen heroine Zoe (Vanessa Zima) breaks away from her peers and stereotypes as a young woman on a spiritual quest, her adult counterpart in Cecelia (Jenny Seagrove) is a contrived creation who serves fundamentally as a convenient catalyst. This road movie will pass through various fests, reaching its final destination in Cableland.
Alienated by her Michigan home life where her mother (Kim Greist) puts up with an abusive b.f., Zoe decides to run away to Hollywood with delinquent pals Sarah (Stephi Lineburg) and Ally (Victoria Davis). Taken by American Indian mysticism, Zoe crosses paths during several unlikely and awkwardly staged moments with Cecelia, a Brit academic compelled by her mother’s will to dispose of her ashes in Navajo territory. Disappointingly, a spiritual and emotional meeting of minds between the unlikely pair becomes far more predictable than it should.