Review: Tully

I'm here to help you too.

Surprise! I actually saw something new instead of going to see Infinity War again.

Marlo (Charlize Theron) is about to have her third child. It wasn't planned, she already has her hands full with two other children, one with special needs and her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) is utterly useless. Her rich brother, Craig (Mark Duplass) gifts her a night nanny in the form of Tully (Mackenzie Davis) who is there to make Marlo's life easier. 

There's been a lot of think pieces written about this film, which I will address after I give my rating because I can't do so without spoilers. The review itself is spoiler free.

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody make a good team. Bringing back Theron after working with her in Young Adult was a great move on their part as well. Unlike her character in that film, I found Marlo to be believable and I understood her struggle. Marlo needs Tully because she has no support system anywhere.

Theron is excellent and really dedicated herself to this role. Davis is a breath of fresh air herself. Sometimes with Cody's scripts, I find that I can't imagine real people talking the way she writes them, but I didn't have that problem here. There are a few things I don't think this film handles particularly well, and I'll get into that in the spoiler talk, but it's a very honestly portrayal of the harsh realities of postpartum mental illness and those who can't afford to treat it. I'm glad this film brings that conversation to light.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorbale quote: "I'm just here to bridge a gap." - Tully (Mackenzie Davis)

SPOILER TALK
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You may have saw me complaining about this briefly on Twitter, but the backlash surrounding this movie by those who haven't even seen it is kind of outrageous and reminds me of similar complaints about a film that came out a few years ago, Obvious Child. See, Tully comes with a twist ending, and that twist involves Margo suffering from postpartum psychosis. The only problem is no one actually calls it that in the film. Drew tells a nurse she once suffered from "some depression" and it's left at that. Do I think that aspect is poorly handled? A little. I think a scene of the nurse actually explaining her condition to Drew would've been helpful, but do I think that ruins the movie and what it was trying to say? No way. It's not even the most poorly handled part of it.

That part is when Marlo and Tully have a conversation about how she and Drew no longer have sex. It's written very carefully to show that both parties are interested and it's Margo's insecurities that lead to her not wanting it at the end of the night, but Tully's response is essentially "You need light that fire" or something of the sort, and I find it extremely uncomfortable when someone has to be talked into sex. The dialogue used was a poor choice. This scene ends with Marlo having Tully dress up and fuck Drew in a way he's fantasized about and I just couldn't help but feel gross about the entire thing. This got way too close to to the suggestion of martial rape for me. I know that's now how Cody was writing it, but it was barely above "Well, you as the woman are responsible for pleasing your husband no matter how you feel" that I was really just put off. That to me was handled worse than not naming her medical condition. It's a personal opinion and I don't expect many to view that scene as I did, but like I said. It just got too close to "wtf territory" for me. 

So there you have it. No, the medical condition wasn't handled perfectly, but maybe that was Diablo Cody's point. She already said this film is for people that don't get help. Maybe not having someone explain exactly what's wrong is part of that too. Marlo already dealt with no diagnosis for her son, maybe she's not meant to get one either.
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END SPOILER

23 comments:

  1. I LOVED this and thought it was so well done. That sex scene felt SO weird and icky in the moment, and is the main reason why I'm okay with the ending - if they hadn't ended it that way, that scene is ALL icky and weird, but with the ending it kind of makes more sense (SPOILERS: Marlo is telling herself to get over her fears and do it). But yeah, in the moment, that scene made absolutely no sense to me.

    Good lord, but Charlize is TREMENDOUS in this. And it's MAYBE Diablo Cody's best script? Up until the ending, it doesn't really feel "writerly" like the worst parts of Juno and Young Adult do.

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    1. I agree with you about the ending making that scene better but man was I uncomfortable during the whole thing.

      I think it's her best script too. It's not perfect, but these characters sound like real people. As much as I love Juno, nearly everything that came out of the teenager's mouths in that film was completely unbelievable. No one says "honest to blog!" damn it. lol

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  2. Great post. I don't know what people wanted ... some kind of cookie cutter explanation, which not everyone is lucky to get, you know? The marketing for this movie was WAY off base, so I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone...just the elite few like us who can appreciate the bigger picture :)

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    1. Right? I can see how some people thought this was going to be a "mom life is hard!" comedy but to me it wasn't marketed that way because I saw "from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody" and I knew instantly that it wouldn't be that kind of movie. Not everyone gets a happy ending.

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  3. Ooh I skipped the spoiler part because I haven't seen this yet but I can't wait for it. I'll be back again when I have :D

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    1. Glad you skipped that part, I Hope you like it!

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  4. I do want to see this film even though I am hesitant knowing about that sex scene. I heard Charlize went into the dumps since she had to gain weight for this role.

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    1. She did, she gained like 50 lbs. I recommend it, like I said, I don't expect a lot of people to view that scene as I did so that might not even register to you. I know it's not going to be a popular opinion.

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  5. Thank goodness you put a spoiler section as I haven't seen the film yet but I really want to as I heard it's a return to form for Jason Reitman. Plus, I heard a lot of uproar over the film in the way it deals with pregnancy. Man, it seems like these bitches are in denial over what really goes on.

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    1. I wouldn't go as far as to call them bitches, The ones complaining have dealt with postpartum depressions themselves and I think were expecting something different. I'm guessing most of them aren't familiar with Reitman or Cody.

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  6. Nice review! I kind of understand now why people had an issue with the mental health part of the movie, but it's odd that rarely anybody is not examining the sex scene a lot. It does sound icky to just to read, let alone watch.

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    1. I think Dan made a good point about how they salvage it but that was what rubbed me the wrong way the most.

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  7. This is interesting. I like the movie (not my favorite Reitman or Cody tho), but i felt like i wanted to hear what actual moms thought about it first.

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    1. Well, this mom didn't get her panties in a wad about it like others did. lol

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  8. I just saw this one too, and also needed a lot of spoiler talk to deal with it!

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    1. It's almost impossible to discuss without them. (For me anyways)

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    2. Damn I hit wrong button on my phone while writing a comment lol I will see it, looks like something that will make me happy I dont have kids as opposed to YA which only made me feel more like a mess it was like staring in unflattering mirror for 2h

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    3. lol You liked YA a lot more than I did. I think you'll like this one too. I'm curious on what you'll think about the spoiler talk.

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  9. Great review, and I so appreciate your analysis in the spoiler section. I agree with everything you said about that sex conversation. That didn't land for me at all. HOWEVER, one of the few downfalls of being completely obsessed with movies is that I can often see where a movie is going. Basically, after Tully's first night, I knew she wasn't real. The fact that no one else saw her (namely the husband), I just thought, "Yeah, she isn't real. We're in for a 'twist.'" But assuming all that, the sex conversation still didn't land. Very, very odd choice of a scene.

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    1. I knew about the twist before I saw the film because I read one of those think pieces that didn't spoiler tag it. I wonder if I would've picked up on that too. I'm assuming probably since no one else sees her until later on. I'm glad I'm not completely alone on the sex scene.

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  10. I guess I managed to avoid all the think pieces and such, so I don't really know what everyone else was saying about this movie, but I didn't really have any issues at all with the twist? *shrug*
    In any event, nice review, Brittani. :)

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    1. I'm glad you managed to avoid those, I wish I had too. Mom forums, man. They ruin everything.

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  11. megashare9.me - Tully is much more than it appears to be from the outside. For those like myself who do not understand the difficulty, frustration and sometimes depression of motherhood this movie provides a very real and sometimes uncomfortable look at it. There are enough moments of comedy relief to keep your spirits lifted for most of the movie and an unexpected twist ending that ties up some of the questions you'll have throughout the movie. Charlize Theron gives a solid performance with sides of her you never thought you would see, both physically and emotionally. Overall, definitely worth the short hour and a half you dedicate to the movie.
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