Marlo is about to have her third child. Her second child is “special,” his diagnosis never identified, but clearly takes up much of Marlo’s energy. The school suggests the family hire an aide to assist the child, but the family is not in a financial position to do so. And then the baby arrives. Marlo’s brother offers to pay for a night nanny, Tully, so that Marlo can get some rest, even though she will still breast feed. And Tully turns out to be Mary Poppins perfect, perfect for the baby and perfect for Marlo’s soul. Marlo had feared the night nanny would be an axe murderer. Of course, Tully is not; otherwise, this would be a horror film. Is Tully too good to be true? The longer Tully is around, the more that Marlo seems to thrive.
Most of this film has very good dialogue, especially between Marlo and Tully. It should surprise no one that the theme centers around the proposition that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Marlo ignores the warning signs, Drew is blind to them. Surely, Tully is the answer. It is odd that the movie shows no family help, no help by friends or co-workers. If it takes a village to raise a child, this village was abandoned. This could have been a very good movie if it either remained a mother-nanny bonding movie, or if it addressed the end topic in more than a perfunctory fashion. It’s failure to figure out how it wanted to grow up will leave you with an empty feeling.