The romantic comedy “Look Both Ways,” which is currently available on Netflix in the Middle East, is a nice reminder that a film doesn’t always need to be highly inventive, intricate, or subversive to succeed. High-concept movies are great, but sometimes you simply want something fun to see that will make you feel good. In “Look Both Ways,” a Netflix original film starring Lili Reinhart of “Riverdale,” the American actress portrays Natalie twice, as it turns out.
Natalie takes a pregnancy test the evening of her college graduation, and as a result, her life as well as our narrative splits in two. When the test comes back negative, she and her best friend travel to Los Angeles, where she gets a job at an animation company, and meets the charming producer Jake (Hollywood” star David Corenswet, who has the somewhat goofy appeal of a younger Brendan Fraser), and pursues her passion of producing movies. If the test is positive in the second, she and the child’s father Gabe (played by Danny Ramirez in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) inform Natalie’s parents and begin the process of peacefully co-parenting their daughter in Texas.
Although From a Whisper and Rafiki director Wanuri Kahiu makes a concerted attempt to portray neither tale as “the ideal” alternative, it has the rather unpleasant impression that Natalie’s life in LA, without a kid, is more in accordance with the film’s thrilling, uplifting, ambitious message. While Natalie and Gabe do experience some happy moments in the “baby” timeline, that plotline focuses far more on the idea of abandoning (or, at the very least, delaying) whatever dreams the couple may have had before becoming pregnant.
Having said that, there is enough happiness for everyone. The stakes feel comparatively minor, in contrast to 1998’s “Sliding Doors,” a film whose plot has been shamelessly appropriated here. Nobody perishes, and most things turn out okay in the end. The movie’s feel-good message is that there is no right or wrong decision for Natalie, and happiness is accessible wherever she chose to find it can truly touch home. Reinhart is such a lovely actress, playing such a popular role that she can’t fail to be unerringly charming.