Friday, May 11, 2018

Tully Movie Review The New York DWI Without Consequence

Tully is a Great Movie But No DWI Reality
I saw the new movie Tully that stars Charlize Theron. The movie is set in a NY suburb. As a New York DWI defense attorney I was taken back by it's treatment of a DWI accident.

Do movies have to distort real life? Can Tully remain a good movie in spite of it's fantasy about law and order? Should the movie have given more weight or a better treatment of the DWI?


Tully is a Engaging and Thought Provoking Film


I really love Charlize Theron as an actress. Her commitment to playing roles and giving 100% is legendary. Even more exciting is knowing that she got her big Hollywood break while being a pissed off person at a bank. She was discovered while at a teller window trying to cash an out of the country bank check. The high drama that followed showed her ability to engage her emotions and the rest is history.

Spoilers for  the Movie Tully Follow

I will not talk too much about the film but merely about the New York DWI. The character had been drinking heavily in Brooklyn, NY. She then decides to drive back to her suburban home. In the ensuing moments she falls asleep at the wheel, and her car careens into water. She somehow manages to unbuckle herself post crash, and then we see her in a hospital bed.

New York DWI Even in Movies Has Far Reaching Consequences

My problem with the movie Tully is that we never see the police, an arrest, talk of the DWI, or consequences from any of it. In real life when we have a New York DWI with an accident the following would occur:

1. A blood test back at the hospital to determine the BAC (blood alcohol concentration)
2. Criminal charges for multiple counts of driving while intoxicated
3. An alcohol evaluation to determine a diagnosis and recommended treatment
4. A mental health evaluation as the hospital determined an underlying post-partum depression
5. The court, the prosecution, and local probation department would be seeking monitoring and supervision

The Marlo of Tully Would Be Placed On New York Probation Supervision

It is unlikely that Marlo under the situation and circumstances in Tully that she would not be placed on a term of probation. There would be consequences to her irresponsibility. This was not just a DWI but a DWI with a severe life threatening accident. You can't gloss over that fact. She would be severely restricted in her driving, there would be no drinking for a period of years, she would have an ignition interlock device placed on her minivan, and she would need to report for alcohol treatment.

Now this movie didn't have to show any of these things or even mention any of these things BUT it so casually went past the DWI as to make it a non-issue. Why spend so much screen time showing the drinking, showing the bad driving, showing the accident, but no mention of ANY responsibility? It was a shown as a minor bump in the road, and all would be the same in Marlo's world afterwoods.

Is the Public Diserved By Movies Like Tully that Mistreat DWI Reality?  

I guess every time I see DWI especially a New York DWI without any mention of consequence I think the public is being misled and misinformed. Shouldn't people know or at least have mention (in movies) of what the real world entails? In a movie like Tully that wants to show the realities of motherhood, the trials of parenting, and the pains of mental disease can we at least get a glimmer of DWI reality?