Natalie (Lili Reinhart) is an ambitious student with her future mapped out. But after a one-night stand makes her vomit, she decides to take a pregnancy test.
“Look Both Ways,” a deceptive Netflix drama, portrays this moment as a crossroads. He envisions divergent futures for our heroine: one in which she tests negative and another in which she tests positive.
Mimicking the thought experiment conducted in “Sliding Doors”, the film intercuts scenes of these two fates. The first finds Natalie on a road trip to Los Angeles with her best friend, Cara (Aisha Dee), where she pursues a job in animation. At the same time, a parallel Natalie grimly resigns herself to motherhood and moves out to raise the baby alongside her grieving parents (Andrea Savage and Luke Wilson).
In a handy cinematic shortcut, director Wanuri Kahiu distinguishes between the two realms through color, applying reds to the set design of Natalie’s exhilarating Hollywood adventures and blues to that of her lonely mother in Texas.
That an accessible third course of action – an abortion – is essentially ignored by both Natalie and the screenwriter, April Prosser, is a bewildering factor in this otherwise predictable film. It’s shocking to see Natalie’s unplanned pregnancy presented as a healthy dose of reality rather than a decision to be made, and the film’s release after Roe only adds insult to injury.
Never mind that ‘Look Both Ways’ seems to assume that, for women, raising children and a career are in relative opposition – when Natalie comes to a fork in the road, the film barely lets her look either way. . He bulldozes her down one path, then the other.
Look both ways
Unclassified. Duration: 1h50. To watch on Netflix.