A Charming Adult Comedy
Tully (2018): A mother of three hires a night nanny to help with her newborn.
Tully is a beautiful little film starring the wonderful Charlize Theron and reunites director Jason Reitman with Diablo Cody. The two have previously worked on films like Juno and Young Adult, which now creates something of a trilogy of motherhood, with Juno tackling the insecurity of being pregnant in your teenage years and Young Adult tackling coming to grips with leaving your perceived “best years of your life” behind for what's ahead. Tully focuses on motherhood and is a wonderful adult comedy in a space that is sorely lacking some quality content. Is it a game-changing film? No. But it is still a humorous journey that will leave you in a contemplative state of mind. It also happens to be the perfect date film in cinemas right now.
The best part of the film has to go to the breakthrough performance of Mackenzie Davis. She plays the title character and has a glowing persona that was mesmerizing to watch. The presence of Tully is felt regardless of whether she's actually on screen or not, and the level of sincerity Davis approaches the character makes her grounded and believable. If it's not the breakthrough performance Mackenzie Davis needs to really vault her into A-list celebrity status, then I don't know what is. Speaking of A-listers, Charlize Theron is her usual, wonderful self here as Marlo. She is on a roll recently with raw and unpolished roles between this and 2017’s underappreciated Atomic Blonde. Ron Livingston brings it too but his character is (justifiably) pushed to the side in favor of Marlo and Tully's relationship. The writing (until the final 15 minutes) is very sharp and grounded. There's one scene in the middle of the film that is rather tonally jarring, but otherwise the writing never strays very far from the theme, which I appreciated. Until the end.
Unfortunately, the ending of this film also happened to be the weakest part for me. While I think many will be willing to accept what is revealed in the final minutes, the “Sixth Sense” kind of twist that is included felt like nothing more than a distraction to me that detracts from the overall narrative. Does that mean it's bad? No. It just comes out of left field and went against the overall theme of the film in my eyes. However, your mileage will vary, and while the ending prevented the movie from achieving greatness in my eyes, the journey was still enjoyable and funny. It'll make you laugh. It'll make you cry. It'll make you yearn for your younger years while also reminding you to be grateful for what you have now. At the end of the day, isn't that basically what every film sets out to achieve?
My Number: 7/10
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