The new Tully movie is officially out this coming Friday, May 4, 2018!
I had the honor of attending one of the preview screening parties hosted by the Refinery in LA. I had an amazing night out with one of my favorite fellow bloggers, Jenny, from Princess Turned Mom.
We enjoyed cute photo ops, appetizers and desserts before the show. We were even given free popcorn, candy and a soft drink too.
Once we sat down in our seats there was even a surprise appearance from the stars. In walked Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis and Ron Livingston…the whole theater gasped and squealed!!!!
So, what did I think about the movie itself?!
Let me start with the good…
The entire film is a build up of all things most difficult in motherhood. Everything from the super uncomfortable last stages of pregnancy, to the challenges of something simple like attempting to get dressed, how hard it is to make plans and follow through, the awkwardness of delivery, the endless diapers, late night feedings, extreme exhaustion when you can’t even remember what day it is, how crazy difficult it is to show up anywhere on time, getting frustrated at how it sometimes feels like you are completely invisible and absolutely coming to the end of your rope when all you can do is scream at the top of your lungs.
I. Have. So. Been. There.
This theater was filled with mamas, just like me, and I loved how the entire room erupted in laughter, ooooh’s and ahhhhh’s at the same exact times. Before seeing the film we may have been tempted to think “oh I’m the only one,” but being in that room together made me see how we can all relate and resonate with one another.
There were many commonalities and so many times I could commiserate with the hardships of being a parent. Sometimes you feel lonely and completely incapable and sometimes is it tempting to believe there is always someone “out there” doing a way better job than you. There were moments I wanted to cry and moments I laughed so hard, and there were moments when my heart ached with compassion for every mama who has gone through those same moments when you feel like you just want to quit.
On that note the Tully accomplished all they intended to do.
But here’s the not so good…
There were literally moments that were so extremely confusing, sad and downright inappropriate that I wanted to take my free candy and walk right out of that theater. I couldn’t stand what they were portraying as a “fix” to the insanity and her methods of coping with the hardships are not at all what I would endorse. Rather than the filmmakers alluding to or hinting at what she turned to they decided to show it, in full view, twice. Honestly, I felt extremely uncomfortable, and came close to making up my mind right then that I’d not recommend for anyone to go see it.
There’s also one particular scene that is jaw-dropping, and made me sick to even think about, much less watch…and it was at that point I wanted to throw my hands in the air and shout, “I’m outta here.” But…I stayed through it and I have to admit there’s a surprise twist at the end that gives much more clarity as to what was truly happening in that scene. If you stay until the end of the movie it’ll make far more sense, but getting through to the end might be a struggle.
The film spent SO much time trying to be “relatable” highlighting SO much of the negative parts of motherhood that they did so at the expense of the positive. This film showed the most desperate and most weak moments, and pretty much left it at that, and honestly if that is all motherhood was about I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to have kids. Ever.
Motherhood is hard.
It’s absolutely exhausting. Just like the movie shows.
It doesn’t matter how many children you have, whether it’s one or 15, motherhood is NOT easy. There are many ups and downs and times when you just don’t think you can handle one more thing. To sit in a room filled with women who have lived the exact kind of moments I had too made me feel encouraged and that I was not alone, which (our of Charlize’s own mouth) is the main point of the film.
Yes, it is encouraging to be reminded I am not alone, and that you aren’t either, but honestly it can’t just end there. The movie closes with very little hope that life could look any different.
Like the filmmakers, I personally want to be about ‘relatability’ and joining women in the trenches, but I also want to be about not staying there. I want to be about helping to lift women up out of those trenches too.
As a Christian watching Tully made me feel extremely convicted to really examine all the more what it is I turn to for relief in my weakest moments.
What am I looking to for an escape?
In what ways am I avoiding reality?
Am I turning to sin or something that isn’t at all beneficial in order to cope?
What is it that I feel I’m not getting that let drive me to anger or frustration?
Do I have the mindset that I deserve more or better?
Are my thoughts continually focused on the negative?
Do I constantly fixate on everything that isn’t working?
Do I blame others, or God, for my hardships? Or do I turn to Him for help when I am not strong?
Am I considering how I might see Him more clearly in the pain?
Am I prayerfully and humbly looking for ways to find joy, even in the most broken, wretched, desperate times of motherhood?
Watching this mamas desperation encourages me to not be afraid to ask for help, because its clear the destruction that happens when we remain isolated and alone. It also encourages me to continue to look to Jesus for hope, for purpose and for my identity, because she searched for in so many places that are never meant to satisfy. This movie helps me to see that burying issues and trying to fix it on my own will only lead to further despair and destruction.
The answer to the hardships and struggles in life is never to go inward. Rather, the answer is always found outward…in Jesus, who gave His life for our sake that we might have life in Him, and life abundant.
Does that guarantee it’ll be easy?
In fact 2 Corinthians says, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not destroyed…so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies…”
Motherhood can be an extremely lonely journey and sometimes its tempting to stuff the hard stuff away in order to have an appearance that everything is alright. Yet the perfect false store front doesn’t serve anybody. It only leads to more despair. Jesus offers us something radically different, His perfect identity. He took all of our brokenness, sin and shame and gave us His righteousness and His perfection in order that we might be free. Free to be imperfect and unashamed and free to look beyond ourselves for purpose, meaning and hope.
It is so hard to know who you can go to for help when you feel absolutely undone. But the Truth is we need each other and we were never intended to live life alone. That should be all the more reason we should be encouraged, and be encouraging one another, to be the kind of women that never project perfection yet instead boast in our weaknesses in order to point one another toward Christ.
My hope is that this movie would be a reminder to be women who are relatable and are a safe place for others who are also worn down, weak and broken…but may we also be women who lovingly and graciously speak Truth to one another, over and over again, when we are too weak to remember it on our own.