Partly a pissed-off family sitcom and partly a tricky psychological drama, Jason Reitman‘s Tully is a decent-enough thing. I wasn’t head-over-heels when it ended, but before the last 15 minutes (which contains a surprise) I was mildly engaged. How did it play in HE land this weekend? The 88% Rotten Tomatoes score was encouraging, but the 74% audience score indicated that Joe and Jane Popcorn had issues.
It wound up with a mildly disappointing $3.18M from 1353 theatres, or a per-screen average of $2350. Will Tully triple that figure before petering out? You tell me.
I liked it more than New Yorker critic Anthony Lane did, but I agree with his final paragraph: “[Tully] all but collapses when Reitman engineers a final twist — the opposite of the twist in The Sixth Sense, say, which enriched everything that had come before. Here the whole saga is hollowed out and thinned.”
In my 1.26.18 Sundance review, I said that “the ending of Tully is interesting but not, I have to say, altogether satisfying. The plot strands don’t entirely mesh.
“Remember the old film-school lesson about how every story starts with an inciting incident, and how this incident should ideally arrive between page 25 and 30? Well, Tully doesn’t have a big inciting incident. Things just move along on a beat-by-beat, nudge-by-nudge basis. I was asking myself ‘is anything going to happen here or what?’ And then something finally does in Act Three.
“Still, Tully is a better film than Reitman’s disastrously received Labor Day and Men, Women & Children, so it’s an image-burnisher to some degree. But it’s on the slight side.
“Diablo Cody’s script is amusingly sharp and sardonic, and Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Marlo, a stressed suburban mom coping with pregnancy and child care, is her boldest since playing an alcoholic writer in Reitman and Cody’s Young Adult (’11) and her most Raging Bull-ish performance since Monster (’03). Her performance is angry, open-hearted, prickly, lived-in — an obvious awards-level thing.”