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‘Look Each Ways’ Review: To Be and To not Be

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Natalie (Lili Reinhart) is an ambitious college senior along with her future mapped out. But after a one-night stand results in vomiting, she decides to take a pregnancy test.

“Look Each Ways,” a deluded Netflix drama, stages this moment as a crossroads. It envisions divergent futures for our heroine: one by which her test is negative and one other by which it’s positive.

Mimicking the thought experiment conducted in “Sliding Doors,” the movie intercuts scenes from these two fates. The primary finds Natalie on a road trip to Los Angeles along with her bestie, Cara (Aisha Dee), where she pursues a job in animation. At the identical time, a parallel Natalie grimly resigns herself to motherhood and moves home to lift the newborn alongside her chagrined parents (Andrea Savage and Luke Wilson).

In a handy cinematic shorthand, the director, Wanuri Kahiu, distinguishes between the 2 realms through color, applying reds to the set design of Natalie’s exhilarating Hollywood adventures and blues to that of her lonelier mommy time in Texas.

That an accessible third plan of action — an abortion — goes essentially ignored by each Natalie and the screenwriter, April Prosser, is a mind-boggling think about this otherwise predictable movie. It’s jarring to see Natalie’s unplanned pregnancy introduced as a cool dose of reality slightly than decision to be made, and the movie’s post-Roe release only adds insult to injury.

Never mind that “Look Each Ways” seems to posit that, for ladies, child rearing and a profession are in relative opposition — when Natalie involves a fork within the road, the movie hardly lets her look each ways. It bulldozes her down one path, after which the opposite.

Look Each Ways
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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