‘Look Both Ways’ Review: To Be and Not to Be

Natalie (Lili Reinhart) is an ambitious college senior with plans for the future. But after a one-night stand led to vomiting, she decided to take a pregnancy test.

“Look in both directions” fantasy Netflix drama, directing this moment as a crossroads. It envisions a divergent future for our heroine: when her test is negative and when it is positive.

The film intercuts these two fateful scenes, mimicking the thought experiment that took place in the “sliding door.” The first finds Natalie with her good friend Carla (Aisha Dee) taking a road trip to Los Angeles, where she pursues animation work. At the same time, parallel Natalie sharply resigns from his motherhood and returns home to raise the baby with his chagrin parents (Andrea Savage and Luke Wilson).

In a handy film shorthand, director Wanuri Kahiu uses color to distinguish between two realms, applying red to the set design of Natalie’s exhilarating Hollywood adventures and blue to her lonely mother’s time in Texas. apply.

That both Natalie and screenwriter April Prosser essentially ignore an accessible third action – abortion – is a daunting factor in this otherwise predictable film. It’s jarring to see Natalie’s unplanned pregnancy introduced as a sobering dose of reality rather than a decision to be made, and the post-Roe movie release only adds insult to injury.

Never mind that “Look Both Ways” seems to assume that for women, parenting and careers are at odds with each other in relative terms. It almost never forces her to look both ways. It pushes her down one path and then another.

look in both directions
Unrated. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. watch on netflix.

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