Charlize Theron reteams with Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for a surprisingly moving story of motherhood. I truly loved this, and you should rent it right now.
So those two sentences pretty much sum up the whole movie pretty well, and you’ve seen everything this film does before in one form or another. Even variations on the theme like Mr. Mom. But the reason I so enthusiastically recommend this is that it’s so fucking well done.
I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Reitman and Cody. There were things I liked about Young Adult, and at first I thought this was going be similar to that. It is not. And as a matter of fact, I almost bailed at the 30 minute mark because it was plenty real in its depiction of life with multiple children including a newborn. Nothing about that appeals to me and grates like hell. But I waited for the titular Tully to finally show, and it was totally worth it. Mackenzie Davis and Charlize are fantastic together, and they cover a lot of ground and issues in the remaining two-thirds of the movie.
The execution of the writing and direction both are excellent. The acting by Davis, Ron Livingston (Office Space), Mark Duplass (who just had a must-see villain-turn in the second season of Goliath on Amazon), and Elaine Tan, who should be bigger by now, is all great. Fantastic soundtrack as well.
But the lion’s share of the workload is carried by Charlize. I feel like she doesn’t ever really get the credit for how damn talented she really is. A lot of people still shit on her for being a “pretty girl who got credit for making herself ugly to win an Oscar for Monster.” But she really is a great actress. Just recently I’ve watched her as three very different and very believable women in this, Gringo, and Atomic Blonde (which you definitely should see. She’s brilliant and very physical.) A lot of the attention for this was focused on her 50+ pound weight gain (which she’d appreciate if you’d stop calling it “brave”) and her depression trying to get it off afterwards, but the actual quality of her acting as Marlo is far more impressive.
I’ve seen a few bad reviews, but most of those were agenda-driven. I very enthusiastically recommend renting this as soon as possible. I’ll be watching it again more than a few time.