Review: TULLY

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody’s “Tully” Stars Charlize Theron in the Unforgettable Aspects of Motherhood

 

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B

The beautiful and glamorous Charlize Theron stars as Marlo in the new feature film “Tully,” from director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. This third collaboration between them provides a very realistic story of the aspects of motherhood. My hats off to this actress who purposefully gained weight for the role of a pregnant mother of two; a daughter and son, Jonah (Asher Miles Fallica) who has unidentified special needs and all that it takes to tackle each day with the family. She is married to Drew (Ron Livingston), a nice guy who goes to work, but at times seems out of touch with reality. Livingston is very good in portraying the scenes of a man-child. Theron’s performance of the New York suburban mom is outstanding and spot on as she portrays the real emotional and physical actions/reactions from pregnancy to delivery and care of an infant, plus three others in the household (yes, I am adding the videogame playing husband). The audience gets to see the messy and overwhelming life, along with the joys that also come with it.

There is an unforgettable extended montage of caring for her infant daughter, Mia that can leave the viewer’s head spinning from the constant waking, feeding and diaper changes. This is an excellent move on the filmmakers’ part. It truly felt like an onslaught to my senses during the film.

Marlo’s wealthy brother, Craig (Mark Duplass), offers a “new baby” gift of providing in home childcare help. Although resistant at first, Marlo is so exhausted she gives in and accepts the gift of a night nanny, Tully (Mackenzie Davis, “The Martian,” “Blade Runner 2049”). Not anticipating Tully’s look and skill, one not quite expected, there are some very real and touching scenes between the actors as Marlo learns to accept the gift and is less skeptical of the nanny, trusting her and bonding in a beautiful, natural way. I really enjoyed the character that the screenwriter created for Tully and the relationship that develops. The gap in their age provides some real insight for both about what they have and what they want.

Drew, Marlo’s husband seems to retreat nightly to their bedroom to a video game headset after his version of having “helped” with the family dinner and children. Drew has no idea of the magnitude of responsibilities his wife actually takes care of in this household. Their marriage is drifting and yet, there remains this lovely family unit.

The dramedy script for “Tully” by Diablo Cody (“Young Adult”) and direction by Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”), is a real winner that many will identify with and watch again. This just might make the audience really wish friends and family a “Happy Mother’s Day” with a new, heartfelt meaning.

Source: Focus Features

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