Diane Ford (Michelle Monaghan), a vivacious and successful independent truck driver, leads a carefree life of long-haul trucking, one night stands and all-night drinking with Runner (Nathan Fillion) until the evening her estranged 11-year-old son, Peter (Jimmy Bennett) is unexpectedly dropped at her door.
Peter hasn’t seen his mother since he was a baby and wants to live with Diane as little as she wants him; but with his father Len (Benjamin Bratt) in the hospital, Diane and Peter are stuck with each other – at least for a while.
Burdened with this new responsibility and seeing the life of freedom she’s fought for now jeopardized, Diane steps reluctantly into her past and looks sidelong at an uncharted future that is not as simple or straightforward as she had once believed possible.
Diane Ford is a long haul truck driver, who has a carefree and relationship free life style. She walks fast, talks fast, drives fast, and drinks hard. She refuses to let anyone get close to her including her best friend Runner.
Diane’s world is turned upside down when a medical emergency forces her to take in the child she abandoned 11 years before. Peter’s father is sick with cancer and his girlfriend Jenny is stuck with other obligations and has to leave the kid with Diane. When Peter arrives at her small suburban home, she is not prepared for a stranger she hardly knows. Peter is just as cross as his mother at the situation: the boy resents the abandonment, he is rebellious, and wants to leave. However much Diane tries to do the mother thing, her son would rather be in another place. The film deals mainly with Diane and Peter reconnecting and the change that happens in both their lives.
In the days after Peter shows up you can see Diane thrash about unwilling to give up her freedom, but mostly it’s a gradual disillusionment with her fairly empty life, despite the same sort of resistance coming from her boy. While Diane feels this will be only a temporary arrangement, taking care of Peter seems to bring back the memories from the time the kid was born and all the baggage she ran out on but she can’t run away this time. Responsibility and the maternal instinct, two important things that have laid dormant in Diane’s mind for sometime are swiftly reactivated. Along with this new found purpose, all the other elements that have inhabited her life for ten years are rattled; her awkward relationship with her friend Runner, her ailing ex Leonard, and his new love in his life Jenny.
Both Diane and Peter feel their way around each other since they don’t know one another that well. S we see sparks of maternal feelings from Diane, Peter begins to soften in his anger toward his mom.
Though I felt Mottern’s writing of the young Peter is sometimes unnatural, giving him too much credit for an eleven year old boy, the movie is convincing and made me really care for the characters and the story.