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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Do your best with what you've got. Life isn't a straight line and can't always be planned out in advance. Roll with the punches. Sometimes you have to take a risk to get a reward.
Positive Role Models
Natalie is a young woman figuring out her path in life. She's ambitious and organized, but she also does her best with the circumstances when unexpected events occur. Her parents have their own lives but welcome her back into their home, help take care of her. She and the father of her baby, who leaves it up to her whether to go through with the pregnancy, co-parent. She prioritizes parenting over friends and career. Her boyfriend in the parallel story chooses his career over their relationship at first.
Main character is White. The father of her baby and love interest in one story is Latino; her boyfriend in the parallel story is White. Her best friend and boss/mentor are both Black women. Some diversity among secondary characters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A night together (we see the couple land on a bed kissing and taking off their shirts) leads to an unplanned pregnancy in one version of the character's story, even though she says they "used a condom." He talked her into "seizing the moment" and having sex even though they weren't dating. When she moves back home, her parents discuss giving up their "naked Sundays" and that they'd had the sex talk with her and shown her how to use a condom at age 15. She has another relationship and we see them kissing, including in bed. Other characters kiss.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bitch," "sucks," "t-tty," "screw up," "oh my God," "good Lord."
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Products & Purchases
University of Texas, Austin, Volvo, Nike, Mac, SXSW, NordicTrack, Whataburger, animation studios.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
College students and young adults drink alcohol, party, and smoke joints. A college student's clothes have a marijuana leaf motif.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Look Both Ways is a parallel lives story that follows two different possible paths for a young college graduate (Lili Reinhart) depending on the results of a pregnancy test. The film has sexual situations, language, and partying. The main character spends the night with her best male friend, which leads to the pregnancy scare -- despite, she says, having used a condom. We see them on the bed kissing and taking off their shirts. We see other couples kissing. College students and young adults party, consume alcohol, and smoke joints. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "sucks," "t-tty," "screw up," "oh my God," and "good Lord." The film suggests that the woman's life would turn out fine whatever the pregnancy test result. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though the concept has been done before, this take on the possible parallel lives of one young woman is buoyed by engaging performances from its lead cast. The poster for Look Both Ways is reminiscent of Sliding Doors, the 90s-era Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle with a similar concept. Reinhart has nothing to envy of Paltrow as a leading lady. She holds the camera's attention and captures the rapidly changing emotions and unexpected twists and turns of young adulthood. Supporting actors, including her parents, boyfriends, and best friend, were well selected for the mostly affable secondary characters. Ramirez and Corenswet make fine leading men. It was a fun twist that the parents were enjoying their empty nest and not so eager for their daughter to move back home.
Don't look to this film for a political message: Though the father of her baby says he'll respect her "choice" about whether to continue an unplanned pregnancy, Natalie's life turns out just fine with or without the baby. There seems to be a message in here about destiny: You're going to get where you're meant to be going in life, one way or another. Neither one of Natalie's lives is perfect, but both are pleasant, so the film also suggests success or happiness isn't a straight line. And, Natalie is equally happy with both boyfriends in her parallel lives, so maybe soulmates aren't really a thing either. The movie weaves her stories together in an overlapping way, with characters actually crossing their own paths at points.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.