By: Amanda Guarragi
College students always have the whole world ahead of them and they are tricked into believing that a plan will always work. Life never turns out the way they want it to within five years. But, if you’re like me, you feel that everything happens for a reason. You believe that fate is real and that you are destined to be in the moment you are in. Look Both Ways is the first movie that I have seen that depicts two sides of one situation extremely well. On the eve of her college graduation, Natalie’s (Lili Reinhart) 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.
First and foremost, Lili Reinhart absolutely shines in this movie and she takes on both roles effortlessly. She has such a natural charm on screen and everyone will be able to relate to Natalie as a character. Her dream is to become an animator, and it happens in two very different ways in her five-year plan. What resonated with me is how her relationships played out. When she stays home with Gabe (Danny Ramirez) to raise her daughter Rosie, she’s anxious and overwhelmed because she doesn’t want the obligation to marry him. She has always felt differently about him as a friend and secretly so has he. So their whole relationship has been a what if, but they have been afraid to take the dive because they don’t want to lose the dynamic they have.
On the other hand, when Natalie moves to Los Angeles with her best friend Cara (Aisha Dee), things seem to move in a different way. It’s fate that she finds a job as an assistant to her favourite animator, and she meets Jake (David Corenswet) who is exactly who she envisions herself with. Watching both love stories play out within the span of five years was interesting, and you could see the different dynamics. But once events start to bleed into each other, certain encounters were always meant to happen to her because it was destined. And relationships are different. The cursed statement of “what if?” can haunt anyone, and this movie shows that. If anything, it highlights how to move forward and take those risks to focus on your journey as an individual.
Look Both Ways is such a refreshingly original story from Netflix and it has a stunning performance by Lili Reinhart. It’s beautiful, endearing, and can teach anyone how to live in the moment. It’s a movie that can be interpreted in many ways, but it still shows the main point that your dreams can be achievable. There are two ways to look at everything and even though the journey may be rocky, the endgame is worth the time and effort. This is possibly one of the best Netflix movies of the year and it’s a necessary watch because of the message. There are no five-year plans for any of us anymore, we’ve resorted to day-to-day living because it’s just easier to process. There is so much to learn from this movie and it also proves that Lili Reinhart needs to be in more movies.