Tully is a true mother’s tale and gives its viewers a little insight into the real emotions of early motherhood. It has moments that feel grounded and bring out real thoughts, but muddles itself in dreamlike sequences and characters that feel out of place.
As a mother of two, with another on the way, Marlo (Charlize Theron) is struggling to keep herself together once her new baby arrives and is without help from her husband (Ron Livingston) while he travels for work. So with her brother (Mark Duplass) wanting to help, he hires a nighttime nanny who takes care of the newborn baby while Marlo is able to get some much needed rest. While reluctant for help at first, once Tully (Mackenzie Davis), the new nanny, arrives Marlo develops a great relationship with her and begins to reflect on the struggles and regrets in her life.
Theron’s ability to showcase the real struggles mother’s face, regardless of how many kids they have, is Tully’s strongest elements. Watching will make views understand and literally feel the frustration that Marlo feels with both her kids and the outside world. Her story is important and she is never shot down by anyone for the blandness that she feels her reality is. This makes her story feel more refreshing and a little bit out of the norm.
However, all of this goes out the window once Davis’ Tully enters the picture and the film rips itself away from the grounded story it started out with. While Davis and Theron have great chemistry and some moments in the movie that are both comedic and heartwarming, Davis’ character can sometimes take viewers completely out of the moment. Tully is odd, to say the least, and while her character is meant to be this way she can also have some dialogue that is a tad groan-worthy.
The film also attempts to have a bit of a plot twist that is so overused throughout the film industry. It makes sense for the plot but it slams on the brakes on the momentum of the story and will disappoint audiences. Not to mention, there is a point in the film where this twist becomes incredibly obvious and ruins any kind of suspense the viewer could be feeling.
Regardless of the issues, there is still some emotional weight that Tully holds. It really is an endearing story about motherhood that isn’t offered from many other films. It strips away the glitter and glam that many movies depict motherhood and trades it in for a gripping and honest look at the real truth. It really is a unique film and viewers will have a little more appreciations for moms.
Like motherhood, Tully isn’t without its struggles and issues. But it keeps itself honest and has fantastic moments thanks to Theron’s wonderful performance.