Charlize Theron’s previous roles have consisted of being a crime fighting spy, a rugged rebellious woman in the desert, and a prostitute turned serial killer. Here in Jason Reitman’s “Tully”, she’s at first struggling mother of two and then of three. Reitman is the director most well known for “Juno” and “Young Adult”, both of which show us the struggles of certain time-periods in a woman’s life. In this latest film of his, motherhood is explored in all its joys, tears and discomforts.
Most of “Tully” doesn’t glamorize motherhood too much as we see Marlo’s constant struggles to keep her life together as she raises all three of her children, one being a newborn. From her son’s so called “quirky” problems at school, to her new daughter being up all night, Marlo never rests. That is until her brother sets her up with a night nanny named Tully, played by Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049) and together they form a special friendship.
The film has a well written screenplay and likeable characters, so there is plenty to enjoy with “Tully”. On top of the entertainment factor though, there is an emotional level that occurs with this film that reminds us to thank our mothers. “Tully” really gives us a struggling protagonist to care for and makes viewers reflect on their mothers or on their own experiences with motherhood, making the film relatable for many.
It’s marketed as a comedy and while there is plenty of comedy in the film, it is still much less funny than expected. “Tully” has some humorous moments here and there and is lighthearted enough, but the film stands alone even better as a drama. The film is sweet and endearing, while having many emotional and unexpected scenes. However, towards the third act, the plot starts to derail just a tad as the already understood message about motherhood starts to become repetitive and frankly, a bit preachy.
Although, it would be unfair to go on without mentioning the biggest thing that keeps this film afloat. Theron’s performance as Marlo is a magnificent one and shows viewers just how versatile of an actress she is. Many of her performances go unfairly overlooked, and this one has already begun to take that path. There hasn’t been much buzz in entertainment news about Charlize in this film, yet her talent reaches its height in “Tully”. If there is one reason to see this film, it’s for her central performance alone. While the supporting performances are all well done too, its Charlize’s that takes over.
Rated R for language and some sexuality/nudity