Tully: Post-Partum, Near-Perfect 

A different spin on Mother's Day, starring Charlize Theron

Marlo is overwhelmed, underappreciated and battling too many loose Legos underfoot. Get the picture? She's a mom. In fact, she has her hands full with two little ones: Sarah, who needs an inhaler; and Jonah, whose disorder lands him on the autism spectrum. When we meet her in the opening frames of Tully, Marlo is very pregnant with a third child.

One more thing: Marlo is portrayed by Charlize Theron, and you can forget that preconceived notion of Ms.Theron that may have popped into your mind's eye—the jaw-dropping supermodel of those Christian Dior ads, the sinewy road warrior of Mad Max or the icy assassin of Atomic Blonde. Tully stars the accomplished, Oscar-winning Theron, who dances across the high wire act of pulling off a whip-smart dramedy with extra padding (she gained close to 50 pounds for the role).

"You're glowing," a rail-thin hipster sister-in-law tells the ready-to-burst Marlo.

"Really? I feel like a burning trash barge," Marlo responds.

With that, Tully returns viewers to the creative world of Diablo Cody, the ex-stripper and Oscar-winning screenplay author of Juno. For Tully, Cody is reunited with Juno director Jason Reitman. In fact, Tully feels very much like a companion piece to Juno. Imagine, if you will, Ellen Page's pregnant teen Juno in the 2007 film, now as an end-of-her-tether mom of three.

"Your 20s are great," warns Marlo. "But then your 30s come around the corner like a garbage truck at 5 a.m."

All is not lost for Marlo. One fine evening, along comes Tully. She is what is affectionately known as a "night nanny," keeping watch over Marlo's newborn and only waking her when it's time to breastfeed.

"I'm here to take care of you, too," says Tully, a 20-something, belly shirt-wearing nocturnal angel. She's played by the mercurial Mackenzie Davis, who burned up the small screen in Halt and Catch Fire and the big screen in last year's Blade Runner 2049. When Theron and Davis share screen time in Tully—and there are plenty of those scenes—it's near-perfection.

Kudos also to composer Rob Simonsen, who put together a delicious score for Tully, which includes tantalizing bits of some of Cyndi Lauper's greatest hits and a genius cover version of "You Only Live Twice," turning the 50-year-old James Bond tune on its ear.

Above all, Tully is ladies' night with Cody, Davis and Theron at the top of their respective games. I loved this film, and for any young couple in desperate need of a great date night and a few laughs at the expense of parenthood, a screening is definitely worth the cost of a babysitter, preferably one like Tully.

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Rated R · 94 minutes · 2018
Official Site: focusfeatures.com/tully
Director: Jason Reitman
Producer: Mason Novick, Diablo Cody, Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, A.J. Dix, Helen Estabrook, Jason Reitman, Aaron Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Andrew Pollack, Paul Tennyson, Dale Wells, Stan Thomas, Ron McLeod, Jason Blumenfeld, David Gendron and Ali Jazayeri
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston, Emily Haine, Elaine Tan, Asher Fallica, Lia Frankland, Gameela Wright, Colleen Wheeler and Maddie Dixon-Poirier

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