This film has at its core a really overused plot - the estranged young son forced to re-unite with a parent, who then, after a bumpy ride, learn to love each other. But by its gritty, low down tone, somehow the film manages to keep from becomming overy maudlin.
What keeps Trucker afloat is indeed the portrayal of a female trucker and all that signifies - the yearning for independance and being your own person, beholden to no-one but yourself. This is what makes this film rise above a throwaway, as though, yes, you've seen this plot before, but never in this way.
Michelle Monaghan is very solid and carries the film well and the child actor does an adequit job of portraying the bitterness and false bravado necessary of the role.
But... a few things I found disconcerting. First, there's an overly long scene at the VFW with Monaghan and her neighbor dancing - ok, we get the message, now move on - no reason for a 5 minute segment showing the two having some fun - could have had the same effect in 1-2 minutes tops. Certainly a "filler" moment for me.
Then there is the constant reference to Monaghan's "beauty" - including a bit of dialog about her chest. To each their own I suppose, but she's certainly not chesty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it didn't do the film any favors to keep harping on it. Besides, the film would be making a much better statement if it would have allowed that Monaghan's charactor was catnip because she was such a free spirit instead of some kind of beauty queen. It would have fit the flavor of the film much, much better; I'm just saying...