Marlo: Your twenties are great, but then your thirties come around the corner like a garbage truck at 5:00 a.m.
Tully: Girls heal
Marlo: No, we don’t. We might look like we’re all better, but if you look close, we’re covered in concealer.
Marlo (Charlize Theron) never expected her life to turn out the way it did with two young children; as one child displays symptoms of Weinberg’s syndrome, Marlo is on the verge of expecting another. She hires Tully (Mackenzie Davis) as a night nanny, an idea given to her by her well-off brother. Marlo is hesitant to let a strange woman into her house, especially at night, but eventually changes her tune when Tully appears with a message that she is here “to take care of her.” Suddenly, Marlo begins to feel less exhausted and more willing to cope with her children, young infant, and husband; but, it all seems too good to be true because no one really knows who Tully is.
At an hour and thirty-five minutes, Tully is a movie about what happens to women who suffer from the stress of having their lives change with children, but it also makes them realize they are not alone. It is the inspiration of one woman named Tully that makes everything possible. Tully is a free-spirited woman who comes in and takes over with the same motherly qualities as Marlo, which at first look would seem kind of creepy, especially when she shows Marlo how to reconnect with her husband in the end. Ultimately, Davis does an exceptional job as this is the first time that we see her as more of a spiritual character, just in the movie to help Marlo at the outset. The ending of the film is not a surprise when we find out exactly who she is.
In addition, Theron, who also produced the film, as always did a great job as a whole. From the start, we know that she is suffering with her life, as when we first see Marlo, she appears to be a zombie, completely disconnected from the world, her children, and her surroundings. Her husband (Mark Duplass, The Mindy Project) notices a change as he comments to her brother, “That’s not my wife;” but like most husbands that we see in movies, he uses his video games to conceal the problems that he doesn’t know how to fix.
The relationship of Theron and Duplass is also spot on as we see a slight shift in the distance between the two of them that in the end pulls them back together after Tully shows up. It captures all the stress and emotion that a mother develops after giving birth and gives site to the all-too-realistic postpartum depression that one hears about. Looking into the depression from that of a producers standpoint, one can see why Theron was given producing credit. By her producing the film, it allowed her acting to shine with that of a realistic approach. Although she herself has no children, Theron did her research in observing how other women who get overwhelmed handle it as a whole.
Being the third film of director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno and Young Adult), Tully follows the same rawness as its predecessors with the main character saying exactly what she wants, when she wants and how. There is no filter as one gets the sense of a very realistic relationship. It is also typically for the timing of the movies coming out as the first film dealt with a young teenage girl embarking on an unplanned pregnancy, to Young Adult which deals with a thirty-something facing life after divorce and finally, Tully, which is more or less a middle-age woman facing postpartum, three kids later. It makes me wonder what storyline Reitman and Cody will tackle next in the line of films. Perhaps something in the mid-life crisis area?
Verdict: 5 out of 5
Tully is a perfect fit for any couple dealing with being overrun with children as it shows them the importance of not forgetting who they are and realizing that “one’s true dream did come true, after all.”