Tully

Charlize Theron portrays the difficulties of parenthood in ‘Tully.’

Kimberly French / Focus Features

Parents escaping their offspring for a Date Night of dinner and a movie will find “Tully” a realistic portrayal of raising children in today’s frantic world. The film provides a gritty yet funny look at the miracle of birth and the challenges motherhood poses to the mother, and the child and husband-wife dynamics within the family home.

Easily the most serious obstacle for mother-of-three Marlo (Oscar-winner Charlize Theron) to overcome is the chronic fatigue that sets in after the arrival of her latest child. Ron Livingston, most known for his Easy Company role in HBO’s “Band of Brothers” series, is Marlo’s husband, Drew—who can always be found at the children’s bedtime in his own queen-sized sleeper wearing headphones and playing video games.

A chilling depiction of sleep deprivation and loss of energy by Theron’s Marlo character will resonate with parents of all ages. It’s Marlo’s deadpan humor and sarcasm as a new mother once again, however, that keeps this comedy churning through midnight feedings, dual breast pump riggings, and the hiring of a nighttime nanny by the name of Tully.

It’s Tully’s appearance at night that perfectly highlights just how fatigued Marlo has become, and the coping mechanisms she’s invoked just to survive. Tully (Mackenzie Davis from last year’s “Blade Runner 2049”) singlehandedly helps Marlo tackle the exhaustion and fear that’s taken over her life. 

The success of the movie is the result of a superb cast that gets even the small details of parenting correct. “Juno” director Jason Reitman once creates a realistic glimpse into human nature by using poignant moments and a clarity of complex issues. “Tully” boldly takes on the world’s hardest job and never once shies away from the difficulties of motherhood. It also encapsulates the ever-changing relationship between a married couple with kids. 

This one is a must-see movie for all parents. The film validates and comforts young couples wondering if their struggles raising a newborn are unique. Through imagination and a delightful night nanny with wise recommendations, “Tully” shines throughout its 94-minute humorous run. The film also gives us one of the year’s best endings. So, head out on your next Date Night and enjoy a funny and memorable story on motherhood. 

Grade: B+

Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the Reel Brief movie blog at reelbrief.com.  You may email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com.

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