“Tully” stars Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, and Ron Livingston. Released on May 4, 2018, the film follows a friendship between a mother and her nanny.
The film is directed by Jason Reitman, who also directed films such as “Juno”, “Up in the Air”, and "Labor Day”. Parenthood may seem like an easy job on paper, but when it comes to this film, it’s a lot harder than it looks. About four years after his last directorial effort, Jason Reitman is back in the director’s chair to tackle something that almost every mother can relate to. This is actually my first experience with Reitman’s filmmaking since I didn't get a chance to view the other movies that he directed before "Tully", although I did hear that his films were mostly good. I was originally planning on reviewing the “Overboard” remake first, but the presence of Charlize Theron, one of my favorite actresses, in the film’s marketing has convinced me to think otherwise. I’m happy to say that I made the right call.
Not only was the portrayal of motherhood well-constructed with honesty and empathy, but the film’s simple premise was able to slowly transcend into something more than what we saw in the trailers. Jason Reitman was a perfect choice in exploring this type of topic as well as creating a heartwarming and realistic experience that’s almost impossible to avoid. Charlize Theron delivered another irresistible performance as Marlo, a mother of three who’s hitting a bit of a slump when she gave birth to her third child. This is one of her types of performances that made me forget I was watching Theron on screen. Mackenzie Davis also turned in a splendid performance as Tully, a nanny who is hired to take care of Marlo’s kids. The story and Davis’ character are the main parts of the film that raises some really good conversations because of the interactions between Marlo and Tully and Diablo Cody’s witty and thoughtful screenplay. This is one of those films that you have to watch more than once in order to immediately understand the film’s underlying themes. It’s not something that Reitman would just give to you on a silver platter during your first viewing. It’s something that you alone should figure out as the film builds up to its surprising conclusion. It’s like healthy food that’s placed in the center of the summer blockbuster junk food plate. We like to eat plenty of junk food during the summer, but sometimes, we like a little something that helps our brain grow. The healthy food is “Tully”. My minor flaw with the film was that the pacing can get a bit uneven during a couple of scenes. I wasn’t bored with it due to its execution and the presence of the two lovely main leads, but for those who prefer comedy-dramas that are fast-paced, it can test their patience.
Overall, “Tully” is a marvelous portrayal of the struggles of motherhood that’s brilliantly filled with honesty, wit, and realism. It’s a way of saying, “We know exactly how you’re feeling”, to all of the mothers that either dealt with this type of phase before or are still dealing with it now. Charlize Theron was an absolute delight, Jason Reitman’s direction was terrific, and Diablo Cody’s screenplay was clever enough to provide plenty of surprises without making them too obvious during the first viewing. This is one of the best films of the year, in my opinion, and I would highly recommend it to those who enjoyed some of Reitman’s other works and to the moms who went through the struggles of raising their kids. Don’t worry, I’m still planning on talking about the “Overboard” remake. That should be coming up pretty soon, so stay tuned.