Trucker: 2 of 5 stars

Sentinel Staff Writer

A hallmark of America’s indie cinema: gorgeous leading ladies dressing down and “slumming” their way through down-and-dirty working class characters.

So this Florida Film Festival you can see cover-girl Charlize Theron as a loose restaurant manager in The Burning Plain, or dainty ex-model Michelle Monaghan as a truckstop tart Mother Trucker in Trucker.

Apparently, her working class gumshoe in Gone, Baby Gone wasn’t real enough.

In Trucker, Monaghan is a hard-drinking, gear-jamming flooze who walked out on her kid years before, only to have the lad dumped at her door by the step-mom (Joey Lauren Adams, who should have played the lead) because the trucker’s ex (Benjamin Bratt) has cancer.

The kid’s a sullen, foul-mouthed brat who doesn’t warm to her any quicker than she warms to him. Fortunately, the one guy Diane hasn’t slept with (Nathan Fillion) is a neighbor with no kids and a need for some mentoring.

It’s corny and a bit off key, tone-wise. The kid is pretty bad and the mother-son chemistry isn’t the best. Monaghan handles the truck-savvy part of the performance well enough. Then Bratt shows up and gives the movie one scene of heart and emotional heft, and reminds us that this might have been a better movie with a less Elle-friendly leading lady.

Screening at: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, Regal; 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, Enzian.