Charlize Theron Said Real-Life Motherhood Is the “Horror Movie”
So I haven't seen the much-talked-about new movie Tully, starring Charlize Theron just yet, but it seems like everyone else has something to say about how “real” and “raw” the movie portrays motherhood. The movie reportedly dives deep into the less-than-glamorous aspects of motherhood, from weight gain to breastfeeding to life at home with young children.
In fact, the entire movie was written based on the screenwriter's real-life fantasy of hiring a night nanny after her own third baby was born. In the movie, Charlize Theron's character gets gifted a night nanny by her wealthy brother (um, I'm starting to see why this is a fantasy!) and the experience changes her life completely. (Understatement of the year, perhaps?!)
Theron herself had just welcomed her third child through adoption when she read the script. She told media outlets that her youngest daughter was six months old at the time she read the script and she thought the entire premise of the movie was “amazing.” The actress remarked on how, while one kid felt somewhat manageable if she sacrificed every part of her life and self, having more than one kid just made the experience impossible. I mean, sure, the baby is one thing, but what about the other kid who needs, you know, interaction?
Stuff gets complicated.
Theron related to this movie because she has lived it and she didn't flinch away from telling reporters how, while some are calling “Tully” a horror movie of sorts about the reality of motherhood, the truth is, real-life motherhood can be a horror movie.
“On a recent family road trip, ‘the kids were just losing it in the backseat,' Theron told an outlet. “At one point, I just lost it and my mom started giggling. She had tears in her eyes, like, ‘It’s OK, it's OK, it’s fine.' (Stuff) like that is what helps you get through all of this. At the end of the day, it’s so funny, but when you're in it, it’s a horror movie.”
Well, when you put it that way, Theron, I will be right there alongside you, admitting it can be. I can think of approximately 19,491 examples of my own personal horror movie of motherhood, from the time I scrubbed poop out of my daughter's eyebrows to the time I had to have my husband milk me in an emergency room to last night, when my daughter fell and maybe broke her hand (I still haven't taken her in yet) at the same exact moment my son shattered a glass bowl across the entire downstairs at the same time my dinner exploded on the stove.
Motherhood can be a horror movie, but honestly, I am a little shocked that there is an entire movie about what I think of as a mother's mundane, everyday experience. I mean, we have all lived this. We have all lived the sleepless nights and the weight gain and that unmoored feeling that you are not actually a person, but some sort of zombie that exists somewhere between sleep and awake. Why would anyone want to make a movie about that? And more puzzlingly, why would anyone watch it? In my mind, it's a dark part of motherhood that I want to forget happened, quickly cover up, move past, pretend that it wasn't as bad as it was. Because “good” moms don't dwell on the bad parts, right? Good moms are happy to sacrifice sleep for their babies, because … babies! We just love them so much!
But that's exactly why this movie is making waves. Because it's almost brutally shocking to see your own ugly truth — especially when you thought it was only yours — reflected back to you on the big screen. It's shocking to realize that other mothers have felt the same exact way you did, not in a cutesy, OMG motherhood is so hard and I'm so sleep-deprived tee-hee! kind of a way, but in an ugly way.
I don't know if I will be able to bring myself to watch “Tully” or not, but honestly, the fact that the movie is bringing about conversations like this one tells me it's already done its job.