TULLY has an ending that completely ruins the film and what came before it. I am not going to ruin this ending for you people reading this that actually still want to see it. I won’t even hint at the ending, because if I mention even one movie it reminded me of that basically did the same thing, it would completely give it away. Let’s just say that a bunch of movies have had this ending, and two I can think of worked well for it, and the rest haven’t. I will put Tully easily in the rest that haven’t category. It undermines everything logical the movie was trying to say about motherhood and how extremely fucking difficult it is. Even with that ending, the film also was a little boring and pointless, other than Charlize Theron’s excellent performance (the only reason to mainly watch it, and Theron never phones that shit in). It’s just disappointing that another Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody collaboration didn’t work.
In fact, with director Jason Reitman’s career, in my eyes, he has really only made three great films: Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up In the Air, the latter two being masterpieces to me. Everything else that had come after, such as Labor Day, Men, Women, and Children, and Young Adult have been ho hum affairs at best. Tully might be his worst film for me, and it really does pain me to say that, and it is all because of that fucking stupid ass ending. However, I really blame one hit wonder Diablo Cody (she won an Oscar for Juno). For the first 3/4ths of the film, Diablo Cody has a completely relevant and important message about motherhood and what it does to families and the environment surrounding them. Just those last 15 minutes…fuck, it messes up that message to the extreme. I really want to tell you what this ending is….and again I won’t (just message me privately if you really want to know), but I will give you one more clue: pay really close attention to the film with characters and their interactions and you could probably figure it out, like I did, around half an hour in.
The movie is about Charlize Theron about to have and having a third child with her husband, played by Ron Livingston. Livingston’s character brings in the bacon and clearly loves his kids, but he is gone out of town because of work alot and when he gets into bed he plays video games until he passes out. Don’t worry, the movie doesn’t spring up that he’s been cheating on Theron the entire time, he is just utterly clueless about her pains in trying to be a great mother, he is actually a sympathetic character and father. Anyway, Charlize Theron gets overwhelmed, so on the advice of her brother she hires a “night nanny.” This night nanny, played well by MacKenzie Davis, basically takes care of the baby at night and watches her while mommy and daddy can get sleep or do other things that they need to do. Theron and Davis end up sharing a bond that teaches both of them things about life they never would’ve learned other wise.
Based on some context clues in that paragraph, you could possibly figure out this ending. And when I say this ending undermines every message, piece of dialogue, and every plot point that came before, I do have specific examples. But if I gave up those examples, I’d have to give up the ending. And I won’t. Just believe me when I say it is one of those “what was the point of everything really before then?” kind of movie moments. Charlize Theron does give one hell of a commanding performance though, and if you want to watch it, she’ll keep you awake. I’ve always loved Charlize Theron as an actress, I think she is incredible in everything that she does. And she’s incredible here, I just wish it was a different movie.
Jason Reitman’s direction is fine, because he always gets great performances out of his lead actors, but like I said, he has made much much much better films. So I’m only giving him 20% of the blame, and that 20% of the blame is that he didn’t ask Diablo Cody to come up with something different at the end to make it a tighter, better, and non eye rolling feature. She and her screenplay make up the other 80% of the blame. Reitman needs to go back to writing and directing his own screenplays, and maybe he can get back to Up In The Air quality again. Diablo Cody…it’s time to stick a fork in her, I believe I don’t want to see anything she has written again.