‘Look Both Ways’ Starring Lili Reinhart Doesn’t Live Up to Its Predecessors—But It Does Get One Thing Right
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Movies about pregnancy are fun to watch when you’re expecting (or if you’re already a full-time parent), and they’ve certainly proven to be successful at the box office and with critics. Just look at Juno, Baby Mama, Knocked Up and most recently Unpregnant. So, when I saw the trailer for the new Netflix film, Look Both Ways, I was definitely intrigued.
In sort of a Sliding Doors-esque fashion, the story follows a young woman named Natalie (played by Lili Reinhart) who is about to graduate college and start the next chapter of her life. After having a one-night stand with her close friend, Gabe (Danny Ramirez), Natalie finds herself envisioning her life in two ways: one where she’s pregnant and starting a family and one where she's pursuing her dreams in Los Angeles.
While yes, I did enjoy how the story was told within two alternate realities, Look Both Ways simply missed the mark in so many ways.
In one reality, Natalie learns that she’s pregnant and is faced with a tough choice. Originally, she had a five-year plan all mapped out. But in the end, she decides to keep the baby and raise it in her hometown in Texas. After leaving college, she moves in with her parents (played by Luke Wilson and Andrea Savage) and tries to co-parent with Gabe.
Throughout the movie, there are a few cute moments between Gabe and Natalie. Yet, I couldn’t fully root for them as a couple. Why? For me, Nat and Gabe just don't seem like a perfect match.
Some of the greatest love stories we’ve ever gotten have come from the classic friends to lovers trope in movies. Whether we’re talking about Sally and Harry from When Harry Met Sally… or Sasha and Marcus from Always Be My Maybe, their on-screen chemistry and connection was undeniable.
Here, however, the moments shared between Natalie and Gabe feel forced. And I found myself wanting to see Nat in the other reality, where she moves to L.A. and meets a guy named Jake (David Corenswet). They have a much more genuine connection, with their love of animation and their similar career goals. But, whenever Natalie and Gabe are together on screen, they just seem like polar opposites with different aspirations.
Though the movie is labeled as a romantic comedy, there isn't much of a comedic factor. Most jokes either fall flat or miss the mark entirely, but there is one actor who actually managed to make me laugh: Luke Wilson. From his comedic timing to his line delivery, the Hollywood veteran truly steals the show whenever he is on screen.
What really saves the movie, for me, is the ending. Without giving everything away, the film sends an important message to the viewer: that a happy ending is possible.
Overall, Look Both Ways is an okay watch. Aside from its disjointing jump cuts between realities and cheesy lines (i.e when Gabe says, “I’m pro-your choice”), the film does get one thing right: The plot puts a unique spin on the pregnancy movie genre we’ve seen time and time again. And for that, the narrative doesn't miss the mark completely.
Purewow Rating: 2.5 Out Of 5 Stars
Honestly, there are better coming-of-age and pregnancy movies out there. And if I were to compare Look Both Ways to any of its predecessors, it’s pretty much a forgettable film. But, if you’re looking for a feel-good watch and you’re a fan of the Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart, you’ll probably find this enjoyable.
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