Look Both Ways (2022)

Look Both Ways
Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Writer: April Prosser
Cast: Lili Reinhart, Danny Ramirez, David Corenswet, Aisha Dee, Nia Long, Andrea Savage, Luke Wilson
Seen on: 2.4.2023

Natalie (Lili Reinhart) is about to finish college and she knows exactly where she wants her life to go from here: she wants to make animated movies. After a one night stand with her best friend Gabe (Danny Ramirez), Natalie is afraid that she is pregnant, though. As she takes the test with her other best friend Cara (Aisha Dee), one version of Natalie is relieved to discover that it is negative and pursues her plans, while another version of her has to rethink her entire life after the pregnancy is confirmed.

I was hesitant about watching Look Both Ways. It looked cute and sweet and pretty much up my alley (and it is directed and written by women), but I was afraid that it would show us one version of Natalie’s life as dreary (and therefore one of choices – to have a child or to not have a child young – be utterly wrong). Fortunately, I gave it a try anyway, because Look Both Ways gets the story very right – and in an absolutely charming way.

The film poster showing Natalie (Lili Reinhart) twice. On top. she is wearing a business outfit. Flipped by 180 degrees, she is wearing dungarees and is highly pregnant.

I definitely should have had more trust in Kahiu, given how much I loved Rafiki. Look Both Ways really is a cute film with a warm heart – and a good message, if you ask me. Instead of giving us something along the lines of “everything is fated”, or “be careful to make the right choices”, the film gives us a reassuring “no matter what decisions you make in your life, things will work out”. Not by themselves, not without issues or complications, some paths maybe more direct, others more winded, but in the end, your life will be good and worthwhile.

It has a wonderful sense of positivity that I find rather rare in films, especially when it isn’t linked to some blah-blah about destiny, simply a warm look at humanity and people. There aren’t even any real assholes in the film, although pretty much all of the characters behave assholish at some point.

Gabe (Danny Ramirez) and Natalie (Lili Reinhart) looking at each other.

Natalie is a great character, and Reinhart is really good in working out the differences between the two Natalies, while also underscoring that she is the same person even when she’s not. Both of the men for Natalie are also really sweet, with Gabe admittedly stealing my heart a little more than Jake.

In short, you shouldn’t make the same mistake I made and watch this film straight away if you’re looking for something sweet and fun and uplifting. And who couldn’t use something like that?

Jake (David Corenswet) and Natalie (Lili Reinhart) looking at each other.

Summarizing: absolutely lovely.

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