There’s a comforting idea at the heart of the ruminative romantic comedy Take a look at both sides. a suggestion that no life choice is ever the wrong one—everything depends on what you DoWith that option. Lili Reinhart stars as two versions of the same woman, Natalie, who, at the film’s opening, has just graduated from college in Austin and is ready to embark on her five-year plan for success. Natalie, along with Cara (Aisha dee), her best friend are leaving Austin for Los Angeles to begin their dream careers as animators. After a night out with Gabe Ramirez, Natalie (the other Natalie) finds herself pregnant. She decides to keep the baby, moving back in with her parents—played by Luke Wilson and Andrea Savage—and involving Gabe in the baby’s birth and upbringing, though she keeps him at arm’s length romantically.
This is where a filmmaker has a lot of potential. Doors that slidestyle idea; there’s also plenty that could send it careering off the rails. However You can do bothThe film has a gentle sweetness which makes it very easy to swallow. The film is written by April Prosser, directed by Wanuri Kahiu. It alternates between two Natalies from very different backgrounds, with one woman climbing the ladder of career success, while the other stays at home and cares for a baby she’s not quite sure how to handle. The point isn’t to degrade one choice and celebrate the other, but to show how human beings often find happiness exactly in the place they’re It is not looking.
Los Angeles Natalie is offered a job as an assistant for Lucy Long (Nia Lang), a demanding but fair boss. She meets Jake (David Corenswet) on her way to that job. They become friends and embark on an uncertain but hopeful romantic relationship. Natalie then encounters a bump in her road. Lucy tells Natalie that her drawings were derivative and that she must find her own style. The news, to this perhaps overconfident early-twenty-something, is crushing. This news also shakes up Jake’s romance.
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Lili Reinhart plays the role of mom-Natalie, in “Look Both Ways,” along with her parents (Luke Wilson & Andrew Savage), and baby’s father (Danny Ramirez).
Mom-Natalie, on the other hand, is suffering in her own way. After growing up in a empty nest, her parents are not happy for her to return to her home. Natalie is fortunate to have a great support system and Jake as her father. But she’s still unhappy. (In one of the movie’s most touching and unexpected scenes, her mother explains what postpartum depression is—it simply hasn’t occurred to Natalie that hormonal shifts are doing a number on her.) Before long, she settles into the groove of motherhood, and there’s no doubt that she loves her daughter. But she still thinks about the other life she might have had, the one we’re seeing in the movie’s glimpses into the other Natalie’s world. We know what she doesn’t: that even if the grass looks greener on the other side, it rarely is. And neither Natalie can see that a dream deferred isn’t the same as a dream destroyed.
Reinhart is an effortlessly appealing performer, though she’s not all sunshine: she can summon an understated moody sharpness when she needs to, particularly in her mom-Natalie scenes, where Jake is usually the one on the receiving end of her mini-tirades. This character, as played by Ramirez has an extremely long fuse. Yet there’s not much dramatic tension in Take a look at both sides. For one thing, it’s impossible to ignore the reality that mom-Natalie gets to raise her child in a beautiful house with doting, helpful grandparents on call whenever necessary. Although we see her briefly working as a barista once she has the baby, it seems like that is all gone. There’s no denying the relative cushiness of her particular single-mom life.
It’s also possible that anti-abortion proselytizers could seize on You can do both to make the point that having the child is always the best way, the only way—but that’s not how the filmmakers present Natalie’s decision. If anything, the movie is a reminder that anyone who believes in a woman’s fundamental right to choose also needs to respect whatever choice she makes. It’s also important to remember that this is a fantasy, not a guidebook for making serious life decisions. This is the main idea. You can do both is that there’s usually a way to make lemonade with the lemons life throws at you. Young adults should be prepared for the inevitable lemon attack, as they will never stop coming.
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