When I first saw the trailer for Tully I couldn’t help think, Finally! Finally, a movie that is going to portray motherhood in a real light! And they did to some extent.
I felt Tully portrayed what relationships in this day and age are like between a married copy was portrayed pretty accurately. For a lot of marriage, the man comes home and after everything is taken care of he spends a little time with the video games. That’s his me time, his way to relax after the kids are bed. But Mom is still going, doing laundry, making lunches, cleaning the house and taking care of the newborn that doesn’t sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Mom doesn’t practice self-care, she just keeps going and going.
When I saw there was a child with sensory issues that really hit home with me. Being a mom with a child that has special needs is hard, like really really hard and something I can relate to. I could completely relate to Jonah’s teachers calling him quirky or the condescending tone from the principal saying, “We just love your family, but…..” I go through the exact same thing! And when Marlo lost it in the principal’s office and just got real, she was sleep deprived, tired and at the end of her rope. She couldn’t take the sugar coating any longer. Or the sidestepping the issues and what the administration really thought. I thought you go momma! Tell it how it is. We’ve all been there. And we’ve all wanted to say it. But here Marlo was saying what we have all wanted to say.
I thought it was so touching that Marlo’s older brother wanted to get her a night nurse to help out with the newborn. He recognized that Marlo really needed help and he was genuinely concerned for his sister. But he failed to follow through and make sure his sister was ok after bringing home Mia. In fact, everyone fails to recognize that Marlo needed help and that she was pushing herself to the point of a mental break down.
SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING
Everyone in Marlo’s life fails her. In my opinion, everyone is so self-absorbed and not in touch with what is really going on that they didn’t even recognize that there was no night nurse! Marlo had a break with reality was imagining her younger self stepping in and doing it all. Her younger self, that she felt like she had lost and missed the carefree life she used to live. Marlo loves her children and family but it’s overwhelming and she reminisced about the days where she was younger, lived in the hip part of the city and went out with friends. Her life is the complete opposite now.
Now, Marlo has 3 children, a husband, lives in a quiet little town and works in HR. It was not the life she had envisioned for herself.
While we are watching Marlo and Tully (the night nurse aka young Marlo) we see Tully swoop in and take care of everything Marlo doesn’t feel she can handle any longer. Someone is finally taking care of Marlo. The house gets clean, these amazing cupcakes that Marlo has always wanted to make but never has time to make get made in the middle of the night. To her family, it looks like everything is under control and Marlo is doing fine. But what no one questions is that no one has ever met Tully. And her brother hasn’t questioned why he hasn’t received a bill for the night nurse. That bothered me. No one was really looking out for Marlo, they claimed they were but they weren’t.
In the last scenes, we find out the truth. There was no Tully. Marlo basically had an imaginary friend or a break with reality. She imagined Tully but in reality, it was Marlo that had been doing it all. She was the one that cleaned the house till it sparkled in the middle of the night. She was the one that made those Pinterest worthy cupcakes. And now she had driven her self to extreme exhaustion and couldn’t function any longer.
I thought Tully was a great eye-opener. It opens are our eyes to just how distracted or self-absorbed we are as a society. How we need to really be there for one another more. And that it’s ok to ask for help. Motherhood is hard. Having a new baby with 2 other children, one with special needs makes it even more complicated and hard. We need to be there for our family. Dads need to remember to care for mom too. And we should really be checking in on our friends and making sure they are not in need of help.
While I recognize postpartum psychosis (that’s what Marlo suffered from in my opinion) is very rare that does not mean that new moms couldn’t use a little more TLC from us. We need to do a better job of supporting one another.
Tully is playing in theaters nationwide. Check your local theaters for times.