Motherhood never had it so good.

Charlize Theron stars as Marlo, a mother of two who is now very pregnant with her third child and is having the pressures and the constant barrage of parenting weighing down upon her.  Her husband Drew (Ron Livingston) seems like a good guy, but he is busy with a new job and does not have the time to help.  So Marlo’s wealthy brother (Mark Duplass) provides an option.  A night nurse, who will come to the house and take care of the baby, allowing Marlo to get some much needed rest.  Despite being resistant to the idea at first, Marlo comes around after an exceedingly difficult day.  And so, we meet the free-spirited Tully (Mackenzie Davis).

Theron and David show great chemistry right off the bat and the pair of them carry the movie with their interactions and their dialogue.  You can see how much of an effect that Tully has had on Marlo as she appears to be getting along considerably better than she was.

I have to say, the ending, which I had considered early on in the film as a possibility, is an ending that I am not sure how I feel about.  Without spoiling it, I do not necessarily think they needed to go in this direction.  It does not ruin the film, but I am not sure it was needed.  It is definitely an interesting idea that was hinted at as the film moved along, so it is not as if it just came out of nowhere.  I can see people being torn between this ending.

This film is listed as a comedy from Academy Award (R)-nominated director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), but I am not certain this is a comedy.  If it is, it falls more into the dramedy type films similar to what Judd Apatow might make.  The humor come more from the writing and the dialogue than the situation.  That does not make it bad, by any stretch.

Tully provides a real look at the difficulties of motherhood, especially facing a family with a limited budget, a special needs child whose behavior needs more than they can give, and a newborn.  Theron plays this brilliantly, showing the frustration and the anxiety of the situation.  She looks like she has been through the wringer, tired, beaten and depressed.  She is also able to project the joys that come from just sitting and watching your child sleep.  These quiet moments are very strong in Tully.

There is a clear charm to this film and I like some of the ideas that it raises.  I am not sure I liked the ending but I do appreciate the effort to do something original.  Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis are the main reasons to see this movie as both give wonderful performances.

My guess is this will resonate even more with the mothers and fathers out there.

3.65 stars

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