The film is about Marlo, a mother of three, including a newborn. Marlo's brother gives her a night nanny as a gift. Hesitant with the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
Time After Time
Written by Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman
Performed by Cyndi Lauper
Published by Rella Music Corp. and WB Music Corp o/b/o Dub Notes
Courtesy of Epic Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
Tully is a strange and beautiful film with a lot of extraordinary qualities, and then some I wish it had gone further with. What is undeniable is that Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman craft very strong films together, with something to say, and I admire their dedication to sticking to these sorts of middle-budget, adult films in a world currently saturated with big budget comic book adaptations and TV series. It's a comfort and joy to watch a film that so respects its audience.
The film's premise is fairly straightforward. We follow Marlo (Charlize Theron) as she struggles to raise her troubled son, daughter and new baby along with an aloof husband (Ron Livington), and seems perpetually on the brink of a major breakdown. That is until she is saved by a night nanny, Tully (MacKenzie Davis), who arrives like a whirlwind one night to help her with her motherly duties. Part Mary Poppins, part Juno, Tully is at first a character who seems typical of the Diablo Cody universe - sprightly and sardonic, referencing Pinky and the Brain and rattling off facts which do not pertain to this story but completely pertain to Cody's style of writing. But then, the film takes some turns, and makes certain decisions which had me nodding in agreement; the decisions surprised me, and delighted me, and kept me wanting to know more about these people and what kind of conundrums they might find themselves in.
I won't spoil the film, but there is a twist in Tully which I'm not sure is entirely deserved, and threw me for a loop. It forces a re-evaluation of everything that comes before, but instead of the pieces all fitting neatly into its puzzle, it leaves questions, holes, and threads not well enough resolved. It was almost like Cody had written this film in a line, and then when it got to that point she decided to change gears and add this element after the fact, attempting to stuff the bulk of the script into it. In any case, I understand what was being aimed for, but I was unable to suspend my disbelief enough to buy into it, which is one of the film's major frustrations.
Another criticism is of Ron Livington's character Drew, whom I felt was a bit one-dimensional and boring, a cutout father figure whom I anticipated would be more creatively drawn but by the end I knew no more about him than I did at the beginning, nor cared much about his and Marlo's relationship, as no relationship was ever developed well enough for them to live in.
What I loved about the film were the moments it took us into unexpected realms, and the wonderful performance by Charlize Theron who has shone in both collaborations with these filmmakers.
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