Tully (2018) Movie Ending Explained: Was There Really a Night Nanny? Let’s find out. Tully, the newest collaboration between Juno writers and directors Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, promises a sharp-witted drama about modern parenting, according to the trailers. Marlo (Charlize Theron) is a dissatisfied mother of three who is struggling to care for her newborn baby and two other small children until the advent of a Mary Poppins-like night nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis of Halt and Catch Fire) changes everything.
The marketing indicates a realistic story, a refined dramedy about terrible manners with indie-rock guitars and Cyndi Lauper songs, but this is a little deception. Talking about a movie like Tully, which relies on a huge third-act shock that reconfigures its meaning and puts into question the events leading up to it, may be difficult for both enthusiastic audiences and critics tasked with describing its plot.
How much information should you share? Is the mere mention of a “major twist” enough to affect how a spectator views a movie? Is it possible to assess a film without delving into the details of its conclusion?
These questions are common in genre films like M. Night Shyamalan’s, but they’re new territory for Reitman, who is known for small-scale character studies like Young Adult (also written by Cody and starring Theron as a self-destructive YA author) and Up in the Air (starring George Clooney as a jet-setting businessman).
Though each of those films contains unexpected twists in the third act, neither of them has the type of Fight Club-style turnaround that Tully offers. They weren’t characterised by their twists like Tully is for many viewers.
Tully, a night nanny hired by Marlo’s brother to assist her in survival, suddenly alters her life. Both women begin to bond closely, and while Marlo is relieved, Tully’s presence causes her to pine for her former carefree self, causing issues. As the film comes to a close, it not only raises awareness of the film’s important topics, but also raises a number of issues.
So, shall we try to figure out their responses and decipher ‘Tully’s‘ shocking ending?
Must Read: Borrego (2022) Movie Ending Explained
Tully (2022) Movie Plot Summary
‘Tully‘ introduces the audience to Marlo Moreau’s turbulent world as she is about to give birth to her third child with her husband, Drew. She works in public relations and finds it difficult to manage her household, owing to her husband’s lack of assistance. Jonah, Marlo, and Drew’s second kid, has an undiagnosed developmental issue that triggers anxiety attacks due to his heightened sensitivity to external stimuli.
This causes him trouble at school, and his mother is unable to actively care for him owing to her approaching due date. Seeing Marlo’s distress, her wealthy brother Craig offers to pay for a night nanny to help with the baby’s arrival. She, on the other hand, refuses to accept his assistance since she does not want to entrust her child to a stranger. She gives birth to a daughter called Mia soon after, and her obligations triple.
Marlo also begins to lose her self-assurance and feels estranged from herself and the baby. She explodes at Jonah’s school principal when she considers sending him to another school, exhausted and sleep-deprived.
Marlo, feeling discouraged, approaches Tully, Craig’s preferred night nanny, and asks her to join. She is a young 26-year-old woman who is open about her promiscuity and enjoys living life to the fullest. Gradually, she and Marlo become closer, and the former begins to confide in her.
Tully is also extremely effective at her profession, assisting Marlo in getting back on her feet and regaining her confidence. While Drew and Craig are pleased with Marlo’s changes, they are curious about the night nanny because they have never met her in person.
Tully also pushes Marlo to reconnect with Drew and acknowledge her own childhood impulses. But one day, she arrives at work visibly distraught, revealing that she and her female roommate had been arguing about bringing various males home. When Marlo begs her to move out, she says she is romantically linked with her roommate and hence is unable to do so. Tully recommends that she and Marlo go out for a night in the city to distract her from her problems.
Marlo agrees despite her reservations and goes with Tully without alerting Drew or anybody else. The ladies drive to Marlo’s old Brooklyn neighbourhood and have cocktails at a local tavern. Tully, on the other hand, unexpectedly notifies her that she will no longer be working for her.
This perplexes Marlo, who has formed a strong bond with her and relies on her to raise her children. Tully then adds that she came to their house to “bridge a gap,” and that her objective is now completed. Marlo borrows a bicycle and cycles to her old apartment, where she used to live with her ex-girlfriend, in denial. Tully follows her there and encourages her to return to her family, but her employer soon complains about her breasts being too large for the baby, causing her discomfort. Tully manages to console Marlo despite the fact that they are far from home, and they continue driving home.
Unfortunately, due to exhaustion, both women become weary, and Marlo falls asleep behind the wheel. An oncoming vehicle startles her awake, and she manoeuvres her car away, only to fall into the river with Tully. Marlo imagines her as a mermaid who appears in her dreams frequently. Tully, the mermaid, assists her in exiting the vehicle and then vanishes as she passes out.
Was There Really a Night Nanny in the ‘Tully’ Ending?
Tully pays a visit to Marlo in the hospital after her accident to say farewell. She claims that they can no longer be together because Marlo needs to learn to let go of the past and concentrate on her happy present with her husband and children. Tully tells Marlo that she needs to reclaim control of her life and that she could do just fine without her.
Drew learns from the hospital’s psychiatrist that his wife’s accident was caused by acute tiredness and lack of sleep. When Drew attempts to fill out some insurance paperwork, he realises that Tully is Marlo’s maiden name. When everything is put together, it becomes clear that the night nanny, also known as Tully, was only a fabrication of Marlo’s brain, designed to help her cope with her mental problems.
She suffered from postpartum depression after giving birth to Jonah, which most likely returned with the birth of Mia. When Marlo was feeling overwhelmed by her overflowing schedule, she imagined Tully, who quickly became her saviour.
While Drew is outside the room, his wife affirms that Tully is the personification of her 26-year-old self. She learns she needs to let go of her nostalgia for the past and make peace with her current situation. As a result, she convinces Tully that everything will be OK as she ages and bids her farewell. Marlo now lets go of the fake night nanny, who had served as an emotional crutch for her up until that point.
Do Marlo and Drew Keep Their Relationship?
Marlo and Drew’s marriage has suffered from boredom and the demands of two children over the years. When they are unexpectedly pregnant for the third time, the distance between them widens as they try to get financial support for the kid. Furthermore, when Marlo’s mental health deteriorates, she loses the energy to spend time with her husband, let alone develop an intimate relationship with him.
Meanwhile, Drew secretly hopes to reconnect with Marlo but is hesitant to tell her because of their increasing responsibilities. Not only that but his wife is irritated with him because he is frequently out on business trips. Furthermore, she is sexually dissatisfied and resorts to watching erotica to pass the time.
Marlo becomes even wearier when Mia is born, and she barely has time to speak to Drew, deepening the gap between them. Things improve, though, when Tully comes and assumes Mia’s responsibilities. Marlo gradually returns to her former self and becomes more involved with the family. She also tells Tully about her and Drew’s lack of intimacy one day.
Tully recommends they act out one of his sexual fantasies, so she dons a costume Marlo had purchased and dressed up as a diner waitress. She then follows her into her bedroom and forms a trio with Drew and Marlo. He is caught aback by this, but is relieved to reconnect with his wife.
When it’s revealed that Tully is Marlo’s imagination, it’s revealed that the latter was the one who lured Drew to rekindle their relationship. He also recognises his wife’s emotional anguish and apologises to her for being an absent spouse. He expresses his love for her and vows to work with her to improve their relationship.
When Marlo returns home after a few days, Drew begins to take little steps to assist with the kids and show his gratitude for his wife. As a result, they are able to save their marriage and give it a second shot. Furthermore, the equation between Marlo and Jonah improves.