Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston, Mark Duplass
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Written by: Diablo Cody
Tully focuses on Marlo (Charlize Theron), a mother of two with one on the way. We follow Marlo as everything is starting to build to a boiling point for her slowly. Her husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), as lovely as he is doesn’t necessarily help in any regard. She’s carrying the burden of having a baby, plus trying to take care of the needs of her two other children.
Marlo’s brother Craig (Mark Duplass) sees the stress it has on his sister and offers a solution. For his wife, he hired a night nurse. A woman meant to swoop in during the night like a ninja, take care of things around the house and disappear in the early morning. Marlo is tempted by the offer and eventually take it. Here she meets Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a young, vibrant and utterly gorgeous woman that seems all too familiar that turns Marlo’s life around for better or worse.
The one thing you immediately love about Tully is how completely honest it is. It will ultimately own your heart in a matter of seconds. If you know Jason Reitman’s filmography as an auteur, he’s going to give you a comedy riddled with reality and doesn’t skip on the nasty parts. That’s where Tully shines. It’s a film that tells that gives the icky parts of ourselves. Ones we try to hide and that people don’t see. This especially comes in the realm of mental illness and post-partum for Tully as a whole where Marlo is dealing with something that most people couldn’t possibly describe, but seeing her go through post-partum psychosis is something raw and real to others that may be going through it.
When seeing this in a theater, I overheard a couple of complaints that Reitman may not have been great for this film because he’s a man. I may have to disagree with that even though I understand the viewpoint. Reitman is perfect for this film because he understands the female perspective with sensitivity and care. With Diablo Cody as the writer, he also knows how to bring her vision to life. He also knows how to place a strong woman that you can relate to on screen. Jason Reitman is slowly becoming a director that carved a fantastic niche for himself in Hollywood. This is his and Charlize’s second movie together, and the chemistry between her and his directing is out of this world.
Diablo Cody’s writing continues to be a bit of a mystery to me. To be honest, it works in some films, and it doesn’t work in other, but with Tully, it works very well. It may be because each film she does with Reitman is very closely related to Cody’s life, so it feels personal. Cody’s writes dialogue that feels naturally funny without going over the top in her other films (like Juno, who TRULY talks like anyone from Juno, seriously). It makes for realistic and real dialogue. It also makes for a brilliantly funny film that captures the struggle of being a mum with post-partum depression and a desire to get everything under control.
Let’s get to the stars of this film. Charlize Theron isn’t afraid to play or look ugly. That’s the most beautiful thing about her. She goes that extra mile to capture the story that needs to be told. Charlize as struggling mum Marlo has you feel for her. Your stomach is tied in knots seeing what she has to go through. Charlize perfectly captures that in this film. She not only brings the emotional but the comedic of her character out as well.
Love of my life Mackenzie Davis is Charlize’s manic pixie dream girl in the best kinda of ways. She’s absolutely gorgeous, daring, saucy and you’ll quickly fall in love with her. She counters Charlize’s manic mind and calms her down a bit with her manic ways. Davis continually lights up a screen wherever she is. In scenes we’re supposed to pay attention to Charlize, my attention went straight to Davis. She vibes well with everyone she works with and completely enthralls you with everything she’s worth. I want to see more of this indie darling, and she’ll only grow from her.
VERDICT: SEE IT! Tully was an incredible movie that carried some weight to it that we’re not used to seeing. It touches on the heartbreaking parts of motherhood and the darkness and light that comes with it that a lot of people don’t regularly talk about. Tully is another triumph for Reitman and Cody who really set themselves apart in Hollywood and don’t plan on stopping.