Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Writer: April Prosser
Starring: Lili Reinhart, Danny Ramirez, David Corenswet, Luke Wilson, Andrea Savage, Aisha Dee
Look Both Way, directed by Wanuri Kahiu and written by April Prosser, has just been released on Netflix. It’s a rom-com drama about Natalie (Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart) who is about to graduate college and has everything planned out in her life. Her five-year plan is potentially put on hold when she has a pregnancy scare on graduation night, leading her life to split into two. The story is told through two different realities, one where she is pregnant and one where she isn’t.
While she didn’t plan on getting pregnant, even in the reality where she isn’t and moves to L.A. to follow her dream, things don’t quite go to plan. That’s the main theme of the film, that no matter how much you plan and prepare, there’s no telling what the future holds. There’s a mixture of luck and fate involved that leads Natalie through both versions of her life. There’s a nice message that even if things don’t go exactly the way she planned, life has a way of working itself out. While the film is a big ‘what if’ story, it doesn’t dwell on that, with Natalie finding her way in both realities and finding both a different and fulfilling path in each.
Both sides of the story are also given their fair share of the run time to be told, without either side feeling rushed. In the end you don’t know which one is the real reality, and you can choose with path to believe in. Natalie is a well-written character, brought to life by a good performance from Lili Reinhart. Her entire life she has been working towards a career in animation, but in neither version of events does that come easy. Most people, especially creative people like Natalie, know that feeling of not being where you want to be at that point in your life, and things taking longer than expected.
In both realities Natalie has a partner who she falls in love with. In the L.A. reality she meets Jake (David Corenswet) who helps motivate her to reach her goals, while at the same time is very career focused himself, putting his documentaries ahead of Natalie when she needs him. In the ‘pregnancy’ reality she spends more time with her college friend and father of her child, Gabe (Danny Ramirez), who’s been pinning after her longer than she realises. In both sets of events her relationships help build the person she becomes, whether that’s career of family orientated. It’s interesting to see the similarities and differences throughout the two sides of her life and how Natalie makes the best out of every situation.
It’s a very light-hearted film, where even the low points in Natalie’s life never get too dark. It’s not something to take too seriously, but just to enjoy the ride. Most of the comedy comes from Natalie’s parents, played by Luke Wilson and Andrea Savage, who are both excellent in the film. They are both incredibly funny every time they are on screen.
Look Both Ways is a sweet, sentimental film about life not going to plan but everything turning out okay in the end. Its concept isn’t original, but it’s well made with likable characters and an engaging story. It never gets to heavy but is entertaining and very easy watching.
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