It's been hailed as "an honest look at the funny-but-true realities of parenthood, family relationships and female friendship" but sometimes this quite fabulous movie Tully, is sometimes too painfully real to watch - at least for mums.
Charlize Theron, 42, is brilliant as the totally exhausted and almost-walking-coma mum, Marlo, who early in the movie gives birth to her third child and is gifted a "night nanny" by her wealthy brother. This is when Tully, a vivacious free spirit played by Mackenzie Davis, enters Marlo's world in a huge and significant way.
Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, the creative team behind 2007's Juno and 2011's Young Adult, the movie is being billed as a comedy but if you're looking for the fizzy Bad Mums-style guffaws, this movie won't deliver - it's too real for slapstick.
In fact, rather than laughs, the sounds the audience will hear from fellow viewers, particularly if they are parents, will be sharp inhales, empathetic sighs and maybe a wry snigger.
Tully covers all those new mum pressure points from constant feeding, sore nipples, the endless nappy change, the unaware baby daddy (played brilliantly by Ron Livingston), the broken sleep and the dream of a clean and organised home in which the mum is fabulously maternal and the kids eat well. Throw in the suggestion of post-natal depression and a "quirky" son who has his own particular needs, and this could be any one of us.
Charlize Theron, a mum of two herself, is so totally believable as Marlo. In a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about Tully she revealed how she gained more than 20kg for the role and the negative impact on her mood and mental health the weight gain had.
The Hollywood star told Ellen that rather than taking a shortcut and using a "fat suit" to mimic the body type of someone who'd just given birth, she made a decision to gain the weight in real life things the old-fashioned way and packed on the kilos herself in real life - by eating potato chips. "I had a bag in my car, a bag in the bathroom, a bag in the kitchen, a bag on the couch, a bag in my trailer."
But Charlize also admitted to a fall-out from eating all the processed food. "I dealt with depression for the first time," she admitted. "What they say about what you eat is kind of who you are is so true because I ate like a person who just didn't move, and I felt like that."
Tully is released nationally across Australia on Thursday, May 10.
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