Look Both Ways
Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Look Both Ways stars Lili Reinhart and Danny Ramirez and is currently streaming on Netflix. The Rom-Com follows the events of Natalie’s life following a positive and a negative pregnancy test. The movie is rated TV-14 and carries a run time of 1:50.
I really enjoyed watching Look Both Ways, another pretty good movie from Netflix. The Rom-Com flirts with confusion more than a few times, but the movies does a good job when flipping between the two stories. The characters are lovable and funny, and the plots hold their own. Not a perfect movie by any stretch but quite a bit better than the normal Netflix fluff.
Who’s in Look Both Ways?
We have 3 main protagonists in Look Both Ways. Natalie, played by Lili Reinhart, experiences two very different lives in Look Both Ways. As a result, we have two different versions of Natalie that start very similar but become quite different in a hurry. At her core Natalie is dreamer who loves putting those dreams to paper. She meticulously plans everything, and her life plan reflects that.
Danny Ramirez plays Gabe, and he does a great job. Gabe is also involved in both stories, but we don’t see such a stark character difference between the two characters. He is more of a free-spirit, letting the wind carry him wherever it pleases. Gabe makes mistakes along the way, but he is a caring soul who tries to do the right thing. Him and Natalie make a really good pair.
Cara is played by Aisha Dee, Natalie’s best friend. Her story may not be affected too much by Nat’s changing story, but their relationship sure does. Aisha is the daring friend, more open to leaps of faith and taking chances. Her character also provides an interesting look at how the pregnancy impacts people outside the scope of direct impact.
Luke Wilson and David Corenswet are thoroughly involved in Look Both Ways, but their characters aren’t what I would consider protagonists. I really enjoyed their performances and the characters they played.
Look Both Ways Review
Look Both Ways is an entertaining Rom-Com that contains a pretty important message. This message of hope, that things happen for a reason, is demonstrated really well, but the movie also doesn’t shy away from low emotional moments that stem from difficult life changes.
The movie explores the way a major life-changing event impacts our main characters, telling two stories at the same time. Lili Reinhart and Danny Ramirez are both really good, and I love the way they portray two different characters. The subtle little things are present on both version of their character, but the bigger things change as the movie progresses. Playing out two separate character arcs that are decently similar can have some challenges, but I found it to be fairly clear which was which.
The biggest downside with this movie has to be then switching in-between stories. Yes, I just said it was well done, but I’m talking from a cinematography stand point. There are multiple scenes where the camera flips back and forth between the two stories, and it gets quite confusing which is which at times. I loved the use of pink or blue to demonstrate which Natalie we were watching, but the colouring wasn’t always apparent. Not a huge issue, but it did cause some confusing, and made Look Both Ways less simple to watch than most Rom-Coms.
Many of Netflix’s newest Rom-Coms struggle because the characters are easy to not like. There’s no emotional attachment or reason to buy into the story if the characters suck. Thankfully, both versions of Natalie and Gabe are likeable and easy to root for. Neither is perfect and they may not be likeable for all 2 hours, but they are good characters that make the movie an enjoyable watch.
The plot within Look Both Ways is very typically of this genre. It isn’t bad, it isn’t great, but you aren’t watching for the plot anyways. The story moves along at a decent pace, although it does feel slightly rushed at points. We skip ahead months, sometimes years, in an effort to cover the entire story, and it comes out feeling fast at points. Our characters have development that occurs off screen, and I didn’t mind it.
Look Both Ways could have easily been 2.5 hours, with a ton of detail and a ton of character development. I think shaving half an hour and feeling slightly rushed was the right decision because the story would not have held up for that long. The rushed pace keeps your engaged with the movie and trades some confusion for your attention span. I liked it even it wasn’t the most genre common decision.
Overall, Look Both Ways is a decent movie on the better side of Netflix 2022 releases. I don’t think the comedy was peak, but it was decent and didn’t hold the movie back. This isn’t an Adam Sandler Rom-Com but it is enjoyable and definitely watchable. Lili Rienhart and Danny Ramirez are really good, and David Corenswet puts on a great performance in a smaller roll. Enjoyable characters take this from mediocre to good, and it is a movie I would watch a second time.