Movie Review: Tully

When the movie “Juno” was released in 2007 written by a stripper by the name of Diablo Cody who then won an academy award for best original screenplay – anyone who ever had ambitions of being a screenwriter took notice of this, because of the remote possibility of hitting a home run like Juno after writing a first screenplay. Diablo Cody writes real life – extremely well in Juno and now Tully.

The difference between her new movie Tully and Juno is that Juno was more of a comedy and Tully is more of a very serious real life look into – the reality of lower middle class life with 3 kids. Anyone who has ambitions of having a family with 3 or more kids should see this movie to realize that there is no nirvana. No magic bullet. Middle class life with kids and little money is hard, very hard. Middle class life with kids is about not having enough money, never getting enough sleep, never ending problems, weight gain for a long list of reasons, arguments, stress, frustrations and anger. Adding to all the problems facing Marlo, played by Charlize Theron, has is her learning disabled and autistic son ad this movie demonstrates these problems very well. Marlo’s husband is played by actor Ron Livingston who seems barely awake during most of this movie, surviving one day at a time, trying to get some sleep, like way too many people facing the reality of life, a job you hate and never enough money.

I thought Cody took some risks with this screenplay, creating the character of Tully, played by actress Mackenzie Davis who provides an interesting twist at the end of this story that many people might miss if they are not paying attention. I thought the risk with this part of the story was worth it but the payoff was not as satisfying as I would have liked it to be. That fact that its been 11 years since Juno was released and now Tully being Cody’s second very well reviewed mainstream movie – shows anybody who has tried to write a screenplay how difficult it is and how long the odds. You also have to admire the 50 pound weight gain that Theron put on to perform this role and its depressing look into the reality of being a lower middle class mother.

The ratings for Tully on Rotten Tomatoes are a very high 89% and for the most part I agree with this assessment but more in the 75% range. The acting of Theron and Davis is very good and carries most of the story and throughout this entire film, I never noticed anyone acting and the dialogue was as natural and real life in any movie that I can remember.

I thought Tully was very well done and I do recommend it.

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