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Look Both Ways: Lili Reinhart Shines in Netflix’s Sliding Doors Homage

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“What if?” This question has always intrigued us. What if we made different choices? What if our lives took alternate paths? The concept of multiple timelines has always been captivating. It’s the driving force behind shows like “Ordinary Joe” and Idina Menzel’s Broadway hit, “If/Then.” Now, Netflix brings us “Look Both Ways,” a film that explores the multiverse potential in a streaming-era twist on the classic movie “Sliding Doors.” With Lili Reinhart from “Riverdale” in the spotlight, this film is a delightful homage to the power of choice.

Two Timelines, One Captivating Story

“Look Both Ways,” directed by Rafiki’s Wanuri Kahiu from a script by April Prosser, skillfully weaves a tale set in two timelines. While it shares similarities with “Sliding Doors,” it carves its own path, exploring the consequences of unexpected pregnancy in a recent college graduate’s life. Reinhart’s character, Natalie Bennett, faces a defining moment that splits her life into two distinct trajectories. It’s a zillennial version of the classic film, with haircuts marking the different timelines.

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Warmth and Reassurance in Dual Timelines

Unlike its predecesor, “Look Both Ways” opts for a warm and reassuring approach. Kahiu’s direction and Prosser’s script create an atmosphere that affirms everything will be alright, even in the face of young motherhood. The film delicately showcases the timeline split, not through the choice of whether to keep a surprise pregnancy, but rather through the outcome of Natalie’s pregnancy test—positive or negative. These two paths lead Natalie on journeys that are both familiar and comforting.

A Glimpse into LA’s Vibrant Reality

In one timeline, Natalie’s test is negative, and she heads to Los Angeles with her best friend, Cara, in pursuit of her dream to become a Hollywood animator. This timeline feels real, textured, and relatable. Natalie navigates the ups and downs of her twenties, securing a job as an assistant to her idol, animation studio boss Lucy, and discovering love with an older co-worker named Jake. This rose-colored portrait of ambition and aimlessness is a delight to watch, with enough detail to immerse us in Natalie’s world.

Exploring the Beauty and Challenges of Motherhood

The other timeline explores the joys and challenges of young motherhood. In this version, Natalie’s test is positive, and she decides to embrace the unexpected journey. As she moves back in with her parents, the film offers a glimpse into the realities of motherhood and the struggles of finding oneself amidst newfound responsibilities. Although this timeline feels lighter and less explored, it still captures the essence of Natalie’s transformation and her desire to balance motherhood with her creative aspirations.

Lili Reinhart’s Captivating Performance

Lili Reinhart shines in the role of Natalie, bringing her character to life with sincerity and authenticity. Reinhart’s wide, expressive eyes and her ability to fully commit to her roles make her a captivating presence on screen. Whether it’s delivering batshit lines in “Riverdale” or navigating the challenges of young motherhood in “Look Both Ways,” Reinhart’s performances are always believable and compelling.

A Film That Leaves Us Wanting More

While “Look Both Ways” is an easy and enjoyable watch, it falls short in terms of depth. The film glosses over certain aspects of Natalie’s journey, leaving us longing for more substance. It touches on important themes such as finances and the complexities of co-parenting but fails to fully explore them. However, this film still manages to strike a balance between showcasing the beauty of different life paths and reminding us of the limitations of wishful thinking.

“Look Both Ways” is a delightful addition to Netflix’s catalog. It offers a fresh take on the multiverse concept, anchored by Lili Reinhart’s mesmerizing performance. If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming story that explores the power of choice, this film is a must-watch.


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