Tully (2018)

Tully
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston, Asher Miles Fallica, Lia Frankland, Mark Duplass, Elaine Tan, Gameela Wright, Tattiawna Jones
Seen on: 19.6.2018

Plot:
Marlo (Charlize Theron) just had her third baby, her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) works a lot and is only of moderate help. Marlo is struggling with lack of sleep and the general demands of having three children. Her brother Craig (Mark Duplass) offers to hire a night nanny for her, but Marly initially declines. But after becoming more and more exhausted, Marlo gives in and Tully (Mackenzie Davis) comes around, helping her with the baby during the night. Quickly, Marlo and Tully become closer.

Tully is not a great film, but it isn’t bad. Therer were a couple of things that made me grimace at it, but mostly I enjoyed myself.

Film poster showing a close-up of Charlize Theron's face covered in stickers, looking exhausted.

Diablo Cody is not my cup of tea. Her brand of humor just doesn’t jive with me and I think she often sacrifices consistency in her writing for one liners, so I didn’t expect to love this film. But I also didn’t dislike it as much as I could have – I was mostly entertained, despite moments where I just didn’t think the dialogues fit the characters or their situation (like when Margo’s daughter asks her what was wrong with her body – a child in her age would maybe ask why her belly is that big or something like that, but they probably wouldn’t talk about right or wrong yet).

The film does tackle an interesting topic, showing motherhood in its unglamorized version, with all the exhaustion and difficulty that can come with it. The insight that motherhood isn’t all that great isn’t new anymore, but it doesn’t hurt. I would have liked it if Margo’s husband had been asked to take over more responsibility, but that part is pretty realistic, I’m afraid. (I also would have liked it if he and Margo’s brother had looked less alike. That was weird.)

Charlize Theron in the film.

I also thought that it’s nice that Margo is bi and that the film shows that she had a meaningful relationship with a woman in the past and that her relationship with her husband is also meaningful and loving – not like she “gave up being a lesbian” for him.

The ultimate solution to the plot, what it all boils down to was too tropey for me and I would have liked a different ending better. But the way to that ending did have its charms, Davis and Theron are fantastic and overall, you can do much worse than watch Tully – as long as you don’t expect too much from it.

Mackenzie Davis in the film.

Summarizing: It’s fine.

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