Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Movie Review: Trucker

Trucker ***
Directed By:
James Mattern.
Written By: James Mattern.
Starring: Michelle Monaghan (Diane), Nathan Fillion (Runner), Jimmy Bennett (Leonard), Joey Lauren Adams (Jenny), Benjamin Bratt (Leonard).

I have seen a lot of movies about dead beat dads over the years, but only a few about dead beat moms. Trucker, the debut film from James Mattern, is a film about a woman named Diane (Michelle Monaghan) who left her husband and infant son ten years ago. Since then, she has made her living as a long haul truck driver with few connections. She is in love with her neighbor Runner (Nathan Fillion), and he with her, but he’s married, and cannot or will not leave his wife, and she won’t cross that line between their close friendship and having an affair. Instead, she picks up guys she meets on the road, and takes them back to a hotel for some quick sex, before she runs off again. Essentially, she is acting like a man.

But then one day, her ex’s new wife shows up on her doorstep with the son Diane abandoned 10 years ago in tow. Diane’s ex, Leonard (Benjamin Bratt) is in the hospital dying of cancer, and his new wife has to go to her mother’s funeral, and there is no one else who can watch the kid. Diane is stuck with the kid she never wanted in the first place. Her son, Leonard Jr. (Jimmy Bennett) doesn’t want to be with Diane either. He is 11, no longer a na├»ve kid, and knows precisely what his mother is. But they’re stuck with each other.

You can probably see where this movie is going, and for the most part you’d be right. The plot of the movie plays out precisely how we expect it to, hitting all the notes that indie dramas of this sort are expected to hit. The mother and son not liking each other at first, but slowly letting their guards down and opening up to each other. Diane and Runner moving closer to a relationship that will probably never be reality. The visits to the hospital to see the dying father. You get the picture.

But the movie really isn’t about the story anyway. Yes, it would have nice to have something a little bit different happening in the movie, but Mattern is more concerned about this characters then the story they are involved in. And in Diane, he has created a great one.

Michelle Monaghan has been doing great work for a few years now, but with the exception of Ben Affleck’s Gone, Baby, Gone she has not really gotten the type of roles that really allow her to shine. But in Trucker, she gets that role. Diane is not an instantly likable character – in fact, we don’t really like her at all at the beginning of the movie. She gradually gains our sympathy and understanding, but is always on the verge of losing it again – just like she is with her own son. But Monaghan dives in fearlessly, and creates an interesting, well rounded character who although we may not love, we are fascinated by. She is the reason to see the movie.

Everything that goes on around Monaghan is fine. Fillion is playing the type of role he seems to always play in movies, and he does a fine job. Bratt has only a couple of scenes, and seems too good to be human, but I suppose he’s fine. Joey Lauren Adams, who seems to have never been able to land a role like hers in Chasing Amy since, is pretty much wasted.

Trucker is not a great movie, but it is a solid debut for Mattern. Many first time directors seem to be overly ambitious, and need to get a few films under their belt before they realize that sometimes less is more. Mattern already knows that. Let’s hope that next time out, he pushes himself a little harder.

1 comment:

  1. May i know any good website from where we can download trucker movie cause i really too much desperate to watch this movie so please help me?

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