Tully Ending Explained: Is the based on a true story?

Who is Tully: the essence of the film (2018): plot analysis and meaning of the film, similar movies.

Country: USA, Canada

Genre: drama

Year of production: 2017

Director: Jason Reitman

Actors: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston

Slogan: “She always thought she loved children”

Awards and nominations: In 2019, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe.

The plot of the film “Tully” talks about parenting and, in particular, maternal responsibilities in the 21st century – directly and to the point.

First of all, this film will be of interest to women, and even more so to young mothers. Although it wouldn’t hurt for men to watch it either.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the content of the film. The plot centers on forty-year-old Marlo Moreau, who is pregnant with her third (unplanned) child. And everything would be fine, only she has difficulty “taking out” family life. Moreover, one of her children, five-year-old Jonah, in all likelihood, has all the signs of either autism or hyperactivity – he was never properly diagnosed.

Charlize Theron of Tully
Charlize Theron stars as Marlowe. Still from the film Tully

The director of the boy’s school tells Marlowe that it would be a good idea to transfer him to home schooling. The main character doesn’t really like this idea – in addition, the director makes it clear that he washes his hands of it. That is, she will have to look for an assistant on her own.

In the evening, the Moreau family goes to visit Marlo’s brother Craig. He is quite successful: he has a great job, a wonderful wife and three children with whom a nanny helps them. Marlowe informs her brother that she is due to give birth in a week, and he, seeing his sister literally driven away, unexpectedly offers to “give” her a night nanny. Such a nanny is needed to babysit the baby at night and bring him to his mother only for feeding.

Marlo is not particularly enthusiastic about this, but promises to talk to her husband. And Drew, who was recently promoted, doesn’t even mind having a nanny help his wife. He himself gets tired at work and believes that he has every right to relax at home. That’s what he does – in his free time he lies on the couch, plays computer games and watches movies. He doesn’t care about everyday life: Marlo seems to be coping, the children are well-fed and well-groomed…

Soon Marlo gives birth to a wonderful baby girl named Mia… and the nightmare begins. The woman works extremely hard – she takes care of the baby, tries to keep the house in order and looks after her two older children, who sometimes behave completely unbearably. The main character feels completely exhausted, she doesn’t have enough strength for anything.

Ron Livingston of Tully
Ron Livingston played the role of Drew. Still from the film Tully

One day she will have another meeting with the director of the school where Jonah studies. The end of the school year is approaching, but the teachers still cannot cope with the boy. Marlo says that she will soon find an individual assistant, but the principal asks that Jonah be transferred to another school as soon as possible. Marlo loses her nerve and starts a scandal.

In the car, she tries to pull herself together, but little Mia’s non-stop screaming doesn’t help. She eventually realizes that Craig’s proposal makes sense and invites a nanny.

Marlo soon meets an attractive young woman named Tully. The nanny takes Mia in her arms and assures her that everything is fine – Marlo can go and rest. In the morning it turns out that Tully has already left, and the house is perfectly clean. Moreover, the nanny even left flowers in the vase…

In the evening, Tully comes again and Marlo sincerely thanks her for cleaning. To this, the girl says that she is here not only to take care of Mia – Marlo also needs support.

Soon Marlo takes Jonah to another school. It seems to her that this makes no sense – and the boy really begins to get hysterical. However, the school director quickly finds an approach to him and Jonah seems to transform from a little devil into an absolutely normal child.

Little by little, Tully becomes a part of Marlowe’s life. The woman no longer sees her only as a nanny, but also as a close friend, and they spend a lot of time together. Thanks to the help, Marlo literally comes to life – he begins to play with the children and take care of himself.

Drew continues to be skeptical about the idea of ​​a night nanny. It seems to him that this is just Marlo’s whim – moreover, he doesn’t like the fact that Craig is paying for the nanny’s work. However, seeing that his wife is becoming calmer, he himself calms down.

Mackenzie Davis of Tully
Mackenzie Davis played the role of Tully. Still from the film Tully

One day, a woman tells Tully about her relationship with her husband. She and Drew love each other very much, but there has been no passion in their relationship for a long time. She also talks about Drew’s personal “fetish” – in his youth he really liked girls in waitress uniforms. Marlo has the same uniform – she once bought it to spend time with her husband, but now age-related changes and the fact of having three children prevent her from wearing a short skirt…

In the end, Tully puts on the uniform and they go up to Drew’s place to surprise him. Tully goes to bed with him and Marlo doesn’t mind at all… The next morning, her husband invites her to discuss what happened, however, according to Marlo, there is no point in analyzing the night’s adventure.

One night, Tully invites her to go downtown and have a drink together. At first, Marlowe is hesitant, but eventually agrees and they drive through the neighborhood where the main character grew up. Marlo is overcome with nostalgia and tells the girl about her childhood.

And at the bar, Tully suddenly tells Marlo that she can no longer work for her and must leave. The woman, in desperation, asks the girl to stay – she won’t be able to cope without her. However, Tully convinces that Marlo no longer needs her – after all, she only “filled the void” in her soul and now there is no need for it.

They soon decide that it is time for them to return home. Marlo is still sure that she will be very bad without Tully, but the girl believes that everything will be fine. At some point, they both begin to nod off, their car flies off the bridge and falls into the river. Before Marlo loses consciousness, she sees Tully in the form of a mermaid saving her…

The woman is sent to the hospital, and a shocked Drew tells the attending physician that it is actually unusual for her to drive off into the night and drive around the city while drunk. He is aware that his wife is struggling with postpartum depression – and that a night nanny helps her… However, he immediately makes the reservation that he knows nothing about the assistant, because he has never seen her. When Drew is asked by the receptionist to tell him his wife’s maiden name, he replies, “Tully.”

Tully Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. Towards the end, Marlo begins to realize that there was no night nanny and Tully is herself. Soon the woman and her “friend” meet again and say goodbye – this time forever. After this, Drew comes into the room and asks for forgiveness for leaving her alone with depression and three children – he thought that she was coping with everything…

Having fully recovered, Marlo returns home and is completely immersed in everyday life. Perhaps the meaning of the ending of the film “Tully” is that now motherhood brings only joy to the main character. After all, not only Drew is nearby, but also (“deep down in my soul… Somewhere very deep”) Tully.

The meaning of the film Tully

Postpartum depression always causes controversy and squabbles. Just try to tell someone that you are tired with children – they will eat you. And they will say that women used to give birth in the fields and wash their clothes in an ice hole – and nothing. The answer to this attitude towards a woman-mother is that society expects heroic deeds from her. Society is confident that a woman should enjoy motherhood and bear the burden of everyday life without complaint – even if she is completely exhausted mentally and physically exhausted.

Marlo probably thought so herself. She tried to be strong for a long time and did not ask for help. But is it possible to pull everything out on your own – without the support and understanding of loved ones and others? Big question…

The magnificent Diablo Cody (screenwriter) and Jason Reitman created an amazing story about an endlessly tired mother of three children. Only the appearance of the pretty and sweet Tully helped her find the strength to move on. One would think that there is some hidden meaning in this picture and now we will talk about women’s rights and other fashionable topics. However, there is none of this in “Tully”.

Mark Duplass of Tully
The role of Craig is played by Mark Duplass. Still from the film Tully

The film simply talks about night vigil for a baby, pumping milk, feeding and the peculiarities of raising difficult children. All these moments are shown so vividly that one is surprised that the heroine continues to “take it all out” at the very least. She even breaks out in a scream only once – when her son is expelled from school “with an oddity.” And after everything they have seen, would anyone dare call her a “yazh-mother” or stick some other derogatory label on her?..

However, soon night nanny Tully appears in Marlo’s life. After this, in a surprising way, the world around the main character begins to change, and the smoldering flame of her vitality slowly flares up again. The helper’s carefree attitude makes the woman look at her life differently. And she really looks at her children, her husband and herself in a new way.

Youth is fleeting. Her carelessness and sweet frivolity disappear somewhere, and in return comes life experience and nostalgic memories… No one prepares a woman to be a mother and no one talks about how difficult it is. And this is extremely difficult.

Marlowe’s motherhood (like that of so many women) resembles a kind of Groundhog Day. And this difficult period lasts forever. And Marlo is no longer that carefree girl, but a mother. First of all, she must think about children, life, husband, and everything else can wait. Tully helps Marlo not only mentally go back in time, but also analyze his life. The mysterious night nanny becomes a breath of fresh air for the main character and the personification of the life that she once had.

And then it turns out that there is no Tully. More precisely, there is, but not here… It turns out that the essence of the film is this: our best friend is ourselves. After all, in the end, the main character finds support in herself. Having pulled out from the depths of herself the same Tully who was before her marriage, she leans on her. However, the internal resource, unfortunately, is not infinite – one day the “friend” has to leave.

young mother with nanny Tully
Still from the film Tully (2018)

The accident that Marlo gets into cannot be called accidental. According to one interpretation, the understanding that it is impossible to hold on indefinitely at the expense of one’s subpersonality ultimately drives the heroine to despair. The result – a night trip, a bar, alcohol, a bridge, a fall, a hospital…

At the cost of an accident, Marlo still manages to attract the attention of her husband and others. However, this is not enough: Drew, who for so long turned a blind eye to his wife’s condition, believing that everything was fine, will not become an excellent assistant overnight, and the children’s problems will not be solved by themselves… However, I really want to believe in a miracle. The main thing is that Tully taught Marlo to take care of herself – at least in a small way. Reminded me that this is very important. But does the main character have the resources to take care of this?

Saving drowning people is the job of the drowning people themselves. To swim out of the dark abyss of despair and depression, you need to try to see the wonderful mermaid Tully, who is still alive. However, this also does not guarantee a happy ending. Finding your inner “Tully” is just the beginning. There is a long road ahead, requiring a lot of effort and time.

Probably, Jason Reitman’s film was shot in the wake of the popularization of feminist ideas. However, Tully is a rare case of feminism done right. Therefore, the film should appeal even to those who associate this word with some kind of ongoing madness that has gripped the whole world. After all, despite everything, this is a kind and optimistic film about family values ​​and what can happen if they are neglected.

She doesn’t put pressure on the viewer and doesn’t lecture – she just reminds them that they need to pay attention to loved ones more often. Because attention and love are the most valuable things in this world. However, no – they are priceless.

family with baby of
Still from the film Tully

Similar films

Here are several films that are somewhat similar to “Tully” in meaning and plot:

  • “Lady Bird” (USA, 2017). Christina McPherson studies at a conservative Catholic school, but dreams of a completely different life.
  • “August” (USA, 2013). The film tells the story of Violet Weston and her large family.
  • “Glass Castle” (USA, 2017). The girl grows up in a dysfunctional family, but her parents try to do everything to make her believe in the best.
  • “Juno” (USA, 2007). Young, “deeply pregnant” Juneau is trying to find a couple who would agree to raise her child.
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