YMMV / The Ledge

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Gavin: Courageous atheist hero? Or Manipulative Bastard with a severe case of White Knight Syndrome?
    • Joe: Crazy, fanatically religious and domineering husband? Or a borderline mentally unstable person that found solace in religion and was having a happy and productive life until he was pushed over the edge by Gavin's actions?
    • Shana: A vulnerable woman who was tempted to cheat by Gavin's manipulating? Or a selfish bitch who just uses men to get whatever she wants? Add in her previous troubles with prostitution and drug addictions and it becomes even messier.
    • Hollis: Was his decision to forgive his wife for cheating on him and accepting the fact that he's not the biological father of his kids a brave thing to do, or a copout that makes him an Extreme Doormat?
      • To be fair, Hollis' wife denies ever having been unfaithful to him. It is hinted that artificial insemination was used with Hollis' brother acting as the sperm donor, all because Hollis' wife wanted to give him a family. On the other hand, he discovered his sterility because he was failing to have a child with his mistress, so maybe it was a case of Laser-Guided Karma?
  • Designated Hero: Gavin comes across as this. Deliberately seducing a married woman to have an affair with him is a dick move by itself, but he also admits that he manipulated Shana in order to make her fall for him. Not to mention the fact that Joe and Shana were shown to be pretty happy together, and the reason Gavin decided to seduce Shana was because he wanted to get back at Joe for being condescending towards him and his gay roommate and to "save" Shana from an "oppressive" life.
  • Designated Villain: Joe. See Unintentionally Sympathetic below.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Word Of God says the ending is intended to be a Bittersweet Ending, as Hollis reconciles with his family and the fact that he is not the biological father of his children, and Shana has now left religion, but... she is now emotionally broken, with her marriage demolished, her husband in prison, her lover Gavin dead and all alone. It will be a damn miracle if she doesn't relapse into her previous lifestyle.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Hollis' subplot bears absolutely no weight to the Shana/Gavin/Joe love triangle, other than distracting Hollis.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Joe, bordering on Cry for the Devil. His reaction to finding out Shana is having an affair shows him to be truly devastated and heartbroken.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: On the flip-side of that coin, Gavin basically uses the argument against religion as a means to score with Shana and screw up her marriage. Given the "point" of the movie is that atheists can be good people without religion, his enormous selfishness and the petty reasons behind pursuing a married woman makes it a Broken Aesop.
  • What An Idiot: Gavin accepting Joe's invitation to debate atheism vs. Christianity. This will surely end well...
    • To an extent, Gavin initiating the affair with Shana. It would likely be discovered one way or another, and surely he had to have at least have known that if Joe discovered it, the consequences would not have been pretty. Sure, he had seen nothing to make him suspect that Joe would turn violent, but it's still a massively stupid (and selfishly petty) move.