Jason Reitman is one of my favorite directors, Diablo Cody a heartbreakingly beautiful writer. And so my eldest daughter Natalie (20 years old) and I have been waiting for three months to see Tully. It wasn’t what we expected, and yet it did not disappoint. Leaving the theatre Natalie looked at me and said, “mom is it really that hard when your kids are little? Dont get me wrong mom, she continued, I really liked it, but it was… heavy.” Interwoven with some lovely light moments throughout I had to agree that Natalie was right it was heavy. But, I found that I woke up this morning still thinking about it; the hallmark of a really excellent film. Here is what I found so touching-
It is a real portrait of our homes when we have a family- the house was a mess- people will sometimes say, when you have young kids its ok if your house has dished piled up in the sink and toys scattered everywhere it’s a laboratory not a museum, usually those who say that live in museum houses, but after years of fighting it I have learned to accept the chaos of our home -it is filled with stacks…I know the stacks contain something important I forgot about - the unsigned permission slip, lab results from blood work, or the utility bill that is long over due I just need to go through it…later…
It is a real portrait of the early days of mothering which is nothing short of pure exhaustion- my head was in such a haze the days all floated together as one. I kept singing the same camp songs I learned in eighth grade because that was all I could remember. My body ached, every part of it, I spent half the day holding a baby and the other half in the bathroom I just had to go…. a lot…. You become completely engrossed in sustaining this new life, it’s like being on another planet.
It is also a real portrait of the poingant moments we have with our children and this is what made the movie for me. It’s mind dumbing work at times, we lose ourselves, and it is even scary, there are scary moments in this film to be sure, but somehow it reminded me of how important we are for our children. How everything we do effects them, how our advocacy and tenderness and constancy show them they matter and how they respond to us, and everything we do. I admit I forget that they are watching observing me and all I say and do - our 4 year old uses my exact phrases and even the cadence of my sentences -our twenty year old mimics my crabby behaviors when she is crabby which is super fun to be around. But when they are little their literal life is in our hands and this movie is a stunning reminder of what we do and what we give as parents.
The three things I love about Tully- it is real, it is real, it is real.