The song's lyrics features numerous references to Bellingham, Washington, which the band considers one of their hometowns, along with Seattle. Examples include "the air on Railroad" and "the shopfronts on Holly," Railroad and Holly being two intersecting streets in downtown Bellingham. The song also refers to The Beaver Inn with the line: "We peered through the windows, new bottoms on barstools but the people remain the same, with prices inflating."
"A Movie Script Ending" is notable for being the first Death Cab for Cutie song to chart, reaching number 123 on the UK Singles Chart, and was the first of three songs by the band to be included on the television show The O.C., appearing in the season one episode "The Escape". In addition, the song was ranked #333 in Pitchfork Media's Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s, and was also featured in the movie Wicker Park.