On the surface, Tully is about the perils of motherhood. The late nights, the selfless acts that go unnoticed and the loss of your identity. I’ve experienced all these as a mother to a three-year-old pup. I can’t imagine the highs and lows that accompany raising a child. While motherhood plays a pivotal role in the movie, Tully is really about saying farewell to your younger self. The movie is a mature, honest, and funny portrayal of one woman letting go of the past in order to fully embrace her future.
In Tully, we see what everyday life is like for Marlo (Charlize Theron), a mother of two with another on the way. Heads up: it’s terrifying. As the primary caretaker, Marlo suffers through carpools, parent-teacher conferences, outbursts and a slew of other things that make me want to give up my dream of having a kid one day. Marlo’s husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), pitches in but just enough to permit him nightly retreats to their bedroom to play video games. Things change when Marlo’s wealthy brother, Craig (Mark Duplass), offers to foot the bill for a night nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis). Marlo and Tully quickly become friends and soon realize they have more in common than they thought.
I can’t tell you what I loved about Tully without spoiling the end. However, I will tell you that this movie isn’t meant for parents exclusively. Anyone who has graduated from young adulthood can relate to admiring someone like Tully. She’s young, free-spirited, and has her whole future ahead of her. She hasn’t made any life-altering decisions yet like getting married or having kids. Tully hasn’t settled yet because she doesn’t have to. Marlo is infatuated with Tully’s lifestyle, which is eerily similar to the one she had not too long ago. The thing is, what Marlo dislikes about her day-to-day is what Tully treasures the most – safety. She longs to have a family someday just like Marlo. This mutual fascination with one another leads to the big reveal and helps put everything into perspective.
In addition to being emotionally interesting, the movie is just plain funny. In Tully, Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno and Young Adult, captures the same rebellious one-liners and antics that embodied the main characters from her earlier movies. The writing is perfectly balanced. Marlo comes across prickly, but never cruel, and who could blame a mother of three for being a tad prickly.
If you’re up for a movie that will make you laugh while tearing up, Tully is the film to see this weekend.