'Tully' is deep yet concise rumination on motherhood

Charlize Theron stars in “Tully.”
“Tully.”
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07 May, 2018

Reitman had just made Thank You for Smoking, his adaptation of Christopher Buckley's novel about the evils of tobacco marketing, and his mordantly matter-of-fact tone turned out to be a ideal fit for Cody's equally deadpan style.

Charlize Theron insists there's nothing "brave" about packing on the pounds to play a stressed-out mum in her new film Tully, because expectant mothers do that "every day".

So when Cody dreamed up the idea for "Tully", a somewhat undefinable look at the harsh, messy and often amusing realities of motherhood, Theron didn't even have to read the script before saying yes to playing the mother of three, who finally decides to let someone into her life to help in the form of a night nanny, Tully, played by Mackenzie Davis.

When it was only Jackson, "it was all-consuming, but it was fine - I could really sacrifice my entire life just for this baby", Theron says.

Marlo keeps trudging, and "Tully" hovers around her quest for inactivity ― a moment's quiet, a dollop of extra-motherly fulfillment. She used that colorful world to write her first book under the name Diablo Cody at the age of 27, the memoir "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper".

Building on Juno's offbeat teenage pregnancy story and Young Adult's darkly comedic examination of the bitter disillusionment that can come with growing up, Reitman and Cody's third film together dives headfirst into the realities of just how hard (nay, savage) parenthood and specifically motherhood can be. The scene is made up of fast, blurring cuts as Director Ivan Reitman emphasizes the frenzied, exhaustive preparation a 40ish mother of three youngsters goes through each weekday morning. Cody's scripts are a bit too cute for me sometimes - and maybe it's because so much of the bittersweet comedy of parenthood resonated with me after raising twins - but I was thoroughly mesmerized by Tully, which had its WIsconsin premiere at this year's Wisconsin Film Festival.

With Tully, they're pretty much back on form. On the downside, she reminds Marlo that her own days of carefree abandon are long gone. Their dynamic works thanks in no small part to the screen chemistry between Theron and Davis, who shine in their respective roles as the world-weary but caring mother and naive but intelligent nanny who strike up a genuinely touching friendship.

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Tully spits out lines like these throughout the film.

Tully has already prompted lots of discussion online, with some asking why Marlo's 5-year-old son's emotional issues weren't given a specific name.

Although she adopted both kids and raises them as a single mom, she could relate to Marlo's initial reluctance to get a nanny, in fear of being labeled a "bad parent". Now, this is the subject of a new movie called "Tully" - but this isn't just any movie.

Theron plays Marlo, who has two other children, and is having a tough time of it all.

Charlize loves the movie, but the two words she uses to describe it are kind of interesting.

"Tully" is now playing in theaters.

Tully is now playing in US theaters nationwide. Rated R. 96 minutes. "We're like, 'Why are you still carrying that baby weight?'"


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