Movie Review: Tully

Tully movie review Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron and Diablo Cody join forces again in Tully, a story about a new mom—that is, one who is becoming a new mom for the third time, as she already has 2 kids, and is pregnant with her third—and how she tries to battle her exhaustion and postpartum depression.

Marlo (Theron) is tired. She's 41 years old and pregnant with her third child (an unplanned pregnancy) and her youngest child, Jonah, is "quirky," and thus must be dealt with by their school administrators. Her brother, Craig (Mark Duplass), offers to pay for a night nurse for them, as a present, and although she's at first wary of his offer, she's so tired all of the time once the baby is born that she soon calls the nurse to hire her. Tully (Mackenzie Davis) soon arrives, and, much like a Mary Poppins-esque character, takes care of everything: Marlo no longer has to stay up all night with the baby, and Tully even cleans the house for her and bakes cupcakes for Jonah's kindergarten class.

I wasn't a huge fan of Young Adult (also a Theron + Cody movie), but I really liked this one, though I will say it doesn't hesitate from showing us the "real" side of motherhood; in one scene, after Jonah accidentally spills his drink all over Marlo, she strips to just her bra, and her daughter asks her something like "why does your body look funny?" (she still has a belly from the pregnancy)

Theron is great in the leading role, and I also enjoyed Mark Duplass (whom I haven't seen in forever - loved him in Safety Not Guaranteed) as Marlo's brother, as well as Ron Livingston as her husband. The writing here is smart, also; in one scene, Duplass's wife (Elaine Tan) mentions
to Marlo something like "Oh I remember that last month of pregnancy! I almost didn't have time go to to the gym." In another scene, Livingston's character mentions that no one was home to watch the kids, because Marlo had left the house, and someone asks him "But weren't you home?", a jab at how when fathers watch their kids, they often reference it as "babysitting" (despite the fact that they are their kids, too).

Yes, see this movie. I am not a mom, so I'd be curious to know how mothers—especially new mothers—enjoy this film. With most films I've seen about moms, they either show them as being completely exhausted all the time (but usually in a comical way, like in Bad Moms) or trying to be the perfect mom, so it was interesting to see a more "real-life" portrait of a mom and her family. Marlo also misses her days of when she was a "wild child" of sorts, and to hear her talk about those days is a sharp contrast to her current life situation.

Tully is in theaters today, May 4th, and is rated R with a runtime of 96 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Click here to visit Wikibuy to purchase Tully tickets on Fandango.

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