Look Both Ways: the heartwarming Netflix movie

“What would happen if?” It is a question that almost all of us ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Interestingly, Wanuri Kahiu brings this question to the screen using his 2022 romantic comedy. look both ways. look both ways features Lili Reinhart as the lead, Natalie Bennett. This Netflix movie begins with the life of the protagonist taking two routes; a pregnant Natalie and a non-pregnant Natalie. After this, the audience is taken through both journeys.

There are many elements in the film that make it fascinating. It is an emotional roller coaster, and the viewer can easily connect with the protagonist. In a way, the creators have made this film so that the viewer can constantly say “this is me”. It may not be an exciting movie with many plot twists. Nevertheless, look both ways it is definitely a movie one would watch to feel better. Plus, it’s the perfect heartwarming movie that makes you think about your own life and the challenges you face.


identifiable protagonist

The film opens with Natalie dating her friend Gabe (Danny Ramirez) at the end of his college life. Although this connection is a spontaneous decision, she acts as the driving force of the film. The question “Am I pregnant or not?” splits the film into two plots, one showing Natalie giving up her dreams of being a housewife and the other with Natalie pursuing her dreams of becoming a cheerleader by moving to Los Angeles with Cara (Aisha Dee). This all depends on whether her pregnancy test comes back positive or negative.

One might wonder why the choice of abortion was not included in the film. Perhaps, the creators focused on looking at young and independent mothers; who chose not to participate. Either way, Natalie’s emotions, as well as the challenges she faces from her, make her relatable. The way she struggles as a young mother sheds light on how raising a child is not an easy task. On the other hand, the constant obstacles she faces when trying to develop her career may be something many young graduates go through. In fact, the show continues to shine a light on how, whatever path we take, life will always bring us many obstacles.

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things take time

One thing both Natalias learn over time is that everything takes time. Young mother Natalie finds it difficult to pursue a career because of her son. However, unbeknownst to her, her son becomes her biggest inspiration. From a made-up story to calm her baby to an infamous award-winning animation, this version of Natalie became a successful cheerleader over time. On the other hand, Natalie, based on her career, seems to have a good job with her idol. However, she does not go well when she is asked to leave. With this downhill, she takes the time to tap into her inner creativity. In the end, after much struggle, she wins the contest and ends up being a successful cheerleader.

Both versions strongly emphasize how things don’t happen overnight. This seems to be a great life lesson that the movie perfectly portrays using Natalie’s ultimate failures and successes. It is also remarkable how the creators send this message by taking the viewer through an emotional journey. As Natalie breaks down and struggles, the bystanders are left heartbroken. That is until everything is okay.

The many options that life offers us

From the beginning, look both ways it illustrates how we are given different choices in life. Natalie’s decision to keep the baby is a choice. It also makes the viewer look at her own life and remember all the times she was given numerous choices. However, the film ensures that the protagonist does not regret any decision she has made. This is a key takeaway as it allows the viewer to be grateful and also happy about the choices she has made.

Whether you are moving back home after graduation or moving out of your home to start a new life, these options cannot be predetermined. That is something that the protagonist of the film learns. Natalie is obsessed with making life plans. However, her plans seem to change due to the choices she is given. This goes on to show how life itself consists of different paths. It is up to us to determine what we want to do with them. Either way, whether you plan your life in advance or take the spontaneous route, these choices end up defining who you are as a person. Natalie grows up to be a successful cheerleader on both routes. Even if the movie ends with Natalie just beginning her career, it’s definitely a very realistic approach to accepting life as it is.

Related: Look Both Ways: How Lili Reinhart’s Movie Explores Regret And FOMO

If it’s meant to be, it will be

In general, romantic comedies tend to adhere to the “a perfect man” trope. Nevertheless, look both ways deviates from this as Natalie has two “ideal” men. Young mother Natalie’s ideal man is Gabe, whom she ends up with at the end of the film, while Natalie’s career-focused man is her co-worker, Jake (David Corenswet). Even if young mother Natalie crosses paths with Jake, she doesn’t seek any kind of relationship with him. Both versions of Natalie end up having strong romantic relationships with the prospective man. She goes on to illustrate how, if things are meant to be, they will be. However, it also depends on the path we take and who we become.

The film also focuses on the different personalities that we develop as a result of the different experiences that we go through. How Natalie’s style varies and her characters differ from each other is based on the life she chooses. Natalie, the young mother, appears to be more mature in terms of being responsible, while Natalie, based on her career, appears to be more outgoing.

look both ways It is a film that has a lot to say and leaves many messages to the viewer. It is moving and realistic, which makes it easy for the viewer to connect with the protagonist and her story.

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