Chew's Reviews - Tully

By Gary Chew | May 3, 2018 |    

Opens Friday, May 4    

Here are the totally predictable movie genres that open across the nation almost every Friday: super-hero-action features; goofy pictures about lame dudes doing lame things (Does “Adam Sandler” have a familiar ring to it?); creepy, dark flicks that have kids or young adults caught up in an isolated, creaky house with a weird creature or goblin taking chain saws to the innocent; retired spy guys who've been recalled to their agency to nab yet more terrorists or greedy drug runners. There's no way we cannot expect a way over C-G-I'd behemoth robot metal monster showing his robot boy how to quickly waste vicious characters who run rampant about every damn where on big screens or other venues in La-La Hollywood's universe.  

Too often, we get the go-home-for-the-holidays slog that provides an option of how zany and lovable all the family can be, or how ugly and vile relatives become at Christmastime or Thanksgiving. And ugh 'n' alas, for the films locked in the concrete of those humdrum franchises. Oh gee, I forgot. There's another genre for the list:  chick flicks. (Please don't be too harsh on me, now.)

Not being a chick usually motivates me to move on from such common tripe. But lo, I just saw one --- yes, a chick flick --- that's not bad. Besides the trite moments for what usually happens in chick pics, the script for TULLY plays pretty well ... thanks to Diablo Cody ... along with fine acting.

That's likely because Charlize Theron carries the picture in the role of Marlo, an exhausted and harried married woman with two young children who gives birth to a third soon after TULLY begins.

Drew is her spouse, played by Ron Livingston. He's deeply into video games at bed time and a strenuous work load awaits him as he arises each day. Marlo must wrangle her hyper-sensitive, emotional little son who's the big bundle of trouble in his classroom. She traipses too often into visit with the public school principal. Fortunately, Marlo and Drew's daughter, their eldest, needs less attention. But the new girl that's just arrived has infant needs that fall totally on the drooping shoulders of Marlo. Theron is such a brave sport of an actor. She fears not taking on a role that's completely different from the glamour gal she is in the fairly recent Atomic Blonde. Charlize rocks! And she knows it.

Another stroke of luck in the script makes Marlo's married brother Craig a successful man with a good amount of coin. She and Craig, played by Mark Duplass, are close. Craig springs for a night nanny for Marlo and Drew, as Mama suffers from serious sleep deprivation. She doesn't go for any of the nanny aid, right off. But, as her routine becomes even more of a hardship, Marlo acquiesces to her brother's generosity. Nice, sweet stuff.

So … here's comes Tully. And it's MacKenzie Davis. What a perky twentysomething she is. The single Tully just loves babies! She greatly impresses Marlo. They rapidly bond. So some smoothness finally takes hold of Marlo's life.

You might not be familiar with Ms. Davis unless I mention that she also played Mariette in BLADE RUNNER-2049 with Ryan Gosling. Mariette is wildly fetching as Pris was in BLADE RUNNER ...#1. Surely you recall, Daryl Hannah playing the most flexible Pris; her main squeeze was played by Rutger Hauer.

As TULLY progresses, it begins drifting more to common turns taken by weary genre films. However, the relationship between Marlo and Tully is sensitive and well-chronicled. It gets to the heart of what a close relationship between two women can be, even though the story doesn't present the institution of marriage as being terribly blissful. The worth of their association brings TULLY up a notch … despite the hapless males who show up for this shoot by that JUNO director guy, Jason Reitman: the Canadian who also made another fine one called, UP IN THE AIR, not mention the creepy, JENNIFER'S BODY.
Copyright © 2018 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

Chew's Reviews: Movies For Thought
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