Should You Watch ‘Look Both Ways’ on Netflix?

Our PLAY, PAUSE, OR STOP? review of Lili Reinhart's new Netflix movie.

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should you watch look both ways on netflix

Look Both Ways – Picture: Netflix

Lili Reinhart’s new movie Look Both Ways hit Netflix this week but should you watch it? Is it worth your time? Here’s our review of the new parallel timeline movie. 

Originally labeled Plus/Minus, Look Both Ways is about Natalie, played by Lili Reinhart. On the eve of her college graduation, Natalie’s life diverges into parallel realities: one in which she becomes pregnant and remains in her hometown to raise her child, and another in which she moves to LA to pursue her dream career.

The movie also features Danny Ramirez as Gabe (Top Gun: Maverick, The Falcon and Winter Soldier), Luke Wilson as Rick (Old School, The Royal Tenenbaums), Aisha Dee as Cara (The Bold Type), Andrea Savage as Tina (Step Brothers, Veep).

We all have dreams. We all have obstacles in the way of those dreams.

We all have those “Sliding Doors” moments that make us think about what if something different happened to us that changed the course of our lives.

In Look Both Ways, Natalie’s reality splits after taking a pregnancy test during a party where she gets ill in the bathroom.

This is her moment. A grounded moment to which many of us can relate.

Many films about unplanned pregnancy examine the various issues women face when confronted with this life-altering scenario. The painstaking decision of the woman’s choice. The vetting of your ability to raise a child. The potential complications with housing, income, health insurance, or even basic support from family, friends, and the baby’s father.

look both ways netflix

Picture: Netflix

This film decides to remove many of those contemplations and pitfalls and, instead, focuses on dreams, talent, and love. Though those things by themselves seem like noble pursuits of interest, the removal of the many things women face in pregnancy makes this film seem sanitized and impersonal. Even in the alternate reality where Natalie is not pregnant, she still seems to have an improbable run where she manages to move to another state without a job, and gain employment in her ideal career with her idol. Land said job with the aid of a handsome stranger who wants nothing in return.

While the pregnancy test is the catalyst for the split realities, the film hinges on two notable choices that Natalie makes throughout the film: if and when to accept Gabe as a potential life partner and when to take ownership of her career. These choices make for most of the interesting scenes in the movie, as it is the only time we see Natalie with real stakes and flaws. Unfortunately for us as an audience, the film decides to push these dramatic moments to the second half of the film, forcing us to sleepwalk through a less entertaining, mostly charmed life in the first half.

As for performances, Lili Reinhart holds the film together with her subtle dual performance, but the story does her very little favors for her character to show any depth. While I love seeing her step into the producer role again after Chemical Hearts, I don’t think this role will take her career to the next level.

Though she doesn’t do comedically enough to make me think this is an actual rom-com, I’d like to give a nod to Andrea Savage, who tries very hard to make her role as the mother memorable and entertaining. Her character is one of the rare roles in the film that make human connections that aren’t inherently stripped away by the plot construction.

In the end, Look Both Ways will offer plenty of Lili Reinhart to her legion of fans but will provide very little else. They don’t even have Texas accents in a film set in Austin. Details, details.

look both ways netflix

Lili Reinhart is the MVP as Natalie in the movie. Whether you enjoy the movie or not, it is undeniable that playing two versions of the same character is difficult. While those versions may be closer than you’d think at times, Reinhart makes the subtle, necessary adjustments to make the differential more than just a few inches off her hair.

Best Scene in Look Both Ways on Netflix

After she notices Natalie crying on the couch, Natalie’s mother, Tina, consoles her and gives a mother-to-new-mother speech that makes for one of the rare takeaways from the movie.

“You mourn a little bit. Because the fact is, no matter how much you wanna be a mom, you’re never not going to be one again.”

Watch Look Both Ways If You Like

  • Riverdale
  • Chemical Hearts
  • Sliding Doors

Our Rating of Netflix’s Look Both Ways

PAUSE. While we all love a good Sliding Doors moment, this movie may not provide the analysis or entertainment one may seek from the split perspective.

What did you think about Look Both Ways? Let us know in the comments.

Written by

Andrew Morgan is a film critic & podcaster with 20 years of experience on the sets & offices of film & television. Current podcast host of the entertainment review show, Recent Activity. He lives in the Northeast of the United States.