Motherhood is something that only half of the population will ever truly understand. That’s what makes Tully so impressive. It takes motherhood in the rawest form and injects it into a movie theater audience so that everyone, men, and women, can understand exactly what it feels like to be a mother. Tully is definitely made for mothers to feel represented, but everyone else will understand the highs and the lows of motherhood by the time the film comes to an end. Let’s take a closer look at our Tully review.
Tully stars Charlize Theron as Marlo, the expecting mother of two. Mark Duplass plays her husband Craig, while Asher Miles Fallica and Maddie Dixon-Poirier play their young children, Jonah and Emmy, respectively. The titular character is played by Mackenzie Davis, and while most of the movie consists of Marlo and Tully interacting in some way, these two make the movie in so many ways.
As the movie begins, Marlo is very close to the arrival date of her third child. We see how both Emmy and Jonah are great kids and a huge handful all at the same time. Jonah’s school even thinks he may be a bit much for his class due to his outlandish behavior. To say Marlo is an extremely busy woman would be an understatement. Meanwhile, Craig is a supportive husband and a good father, but there are just some things only a woman can do, and Craig has a very busy work schedule to boot. Suffice to say, Marlo is at the edge of her wits with everything that’s going on.
Enter Tully, a night nanny that comes to your home at night to take care of a newborn so that the parents can get some much-needed rest. While Marlo is extremely hesitant at first, Tully’s warm demeanor and loving nature quickly win her over. Tully begins to enhance Marlo’s life in a number of ways, but the movie doesn’t really begin until the last 20 minutes.
It’s difficult to discuss what makes Tully so great without spoiling the film at the same time. The first 75 minutes of the movie are just there to help the audience understand motherhood. It’s during this time that mothers will nod in approval and even groan in remembrance of the events unfolding on screen. The Tully character is a necessary means to an end as she saves Marlo in so many ways, while also hurting her deeply at the same time.
Everything that happens before the final 20 minutes of the movie is a necessary setup, but you may be wondering where the film is going and how it will end. Trust me when I say that the payoff is there, and it comes in a way you will least expect. Think of films like The Crying Game or The Sixth Sense, which build up to something that completely blows you away. That’s what it feels like to watch the final few minutes of Tully.
Tully is a film that almost requires a second viewing to fully understand. It’s a wonderful film about the trials and tribulations of motherhood and a film that everyone can understand and connect with. The only minor issue is that the film slows down a bit and really makes you question where it’s going and how things will wrap up in the final act. That said, Tully doesn’t drag, more so than it just continues offering similar scenes over and over again, making you wonder what’s next. Beyond that small fault, Tully is a film that everyone should see at least once, but that you’ll want to see two or even three times.
Synopsis: Marlo, a mother of three, is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Stars: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass
Runtime: 1 Hour, 36 Minutes
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.