- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- May mentions having an abortion and a series of failed relationships. It's possible the baby stemmed from one of them.
- Martine doesn't properly warm to Gordy until he mentions that he has a Disappeared Dad. Is that her realising they're Not So Different after all? Or was she already attracted to him, but his flaws turned her off? It's also possible that Martine just assumes he's like the guy that blew her off at the beginning of the film and may be avoiding giving him a chance because she actually likes him - and therefore doesn't want to be just another one night stand.
- Awesome Music: The entire score is beautifully melodic and carries that subtle emotional beat to it.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: This was right before Twilight made Kristen Stewart infamous, so when it was released, the majority of praise went to her portrayal of Martine.
- Heartwarming Moments:
- Gordy, Brett and Martine all bonding throughout the course of their road trip. They're complete strangers who have no real friends of their own, but they all become good friends over the course of three days.
- Brett's reaction to May's pregnancy. He's obviously stunned and openly admits that he'd never even considered the possibility, but as it sinks in he just gets happier and happier about it — and May, who starts out the conversation scared and defensive, softens and smiles, clearly so relieved about his reaction and beginning to believe that this could be something good. No matter what happens afterward, that one moment really demonstrates how right they are for each other.
- Brett's reunion with May. After all the hardships they suffered, she greets him smiling, just happy to finally have the man she loves back. Maria Bello says absolutely everything without having to say a word at all.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- The Woobie: All the protagonists to some extent:
- Brett was a troubled kid growing up, in and out of juvey, and May was the one Morality Pet in his life. He ended things because he thought he wasn't good enough for her.
- May too had a series of disastrous relationships, and finally gets it right with Brent. Then she miscarries and Brent divorces her while in prison.
- Gordy was abandoned by his father at a young age and has been constantly bullied and hated all his life.
- Martine has neglectful parents and just wants to be loved, not tossed aside. The opening scenes suggest that she has a habit of going after boys who use and abuse her.
YMMV / The Yellow Handkerchief