Look Both Ways Plot Synopsis
Everybody has moments in their lives when they question whether things would have turned out differently if they had made a different choice, which is possibly what makes this tale – which analyzes two parallel storylines simultaneously – so captivating.
Look Both Ways tells the tale of a young animator named Natalie using the “two routes diverged in the yellow wood” premise. In addition to having her life figured out for the next five years, she knows precisely what she desires and when she wants it to come true for her.
Natalie wishes to settle down in Los Angeles with her best friend after graduating from college. Her plan begins with her relocating to Los Angeles to establish herself as a creative animator. Given that it is their final night of college, she and Gabe participate in an act of spontaneity, leading to the pair having sex. This prompts Natalie to get a pregnancy test while the graduation celebration rages outside.
Based on the outcome of her pregnancy test, Natalie’s entire existence is divided into two probable timelines, each of which dissects a realistic future. Since the movie alternates between two timelines throughout, we dive into what this all means.
Why does Natalie take the pregnancy test?
In the movie, the lead character’s life is shown in two distinct directions simultaneously. Natalie seems to have a fling with her classmate Gabe the night before she graduates from college. Consequently, she finds herself puking on the floor at the graduation party.
She could be sick from the sushi at the gas station or equally pregnant, which leads spectators on an adventure into two alternate realities: one in which the result is negative and the other in which it comes out positive. Both possibilities result in uplifting, endearing, and meaningful messages.
Which two alternate realties does Look Both Ways feature?
Natalie plans to conceive the baby after a quick conversation with Gabe in the universe where the test is positive. When she returns home, her mom and dad are disappointed and furious that their arrangements have now been altered. But gradually they calm down and allow Natalie to remain with them to assist her with the infant. Gabe continues to be involved and accepts his fair share of roles and responsibilities.
In the alternate reality where the result is negative, Natalie travels to Los Angeles with her best friend Cara. She lands a job with her idol, Lucy, and she has a meaningful relationship with a young producer named Jake. She believes she is on the right track but unaware that plans occasionally don’t work out.
What challenges does Natalie encounter?
Natalie, who is pregnant and chooses to keep the baby, believes that this is the right course of action, but cannot help but feel bad about not being able to move to LA and lead the life she desired. She was meant to advance in her career, but instead, she has returned home and is in charge of a child. Soon after becoming a mother, she experiences the ramifications and fears that she no longer has a life. Her daughter Rosie is the center of her universe.
Her romantic life is also a complete mess. Although she is unquestionably in love with Gabe, she does not wish to jeopardize their amicable friendship at the time for Rosie. She reasons that if they start dating and later split up what impact will that have on their child?
Natalie can’t be around her friends as she is unable to trust anyone with Rosie. Natalie arrives home sooner than planned from a vacation. She confronts Gabe about leaving their child with a caregiver. He explains that the reason he took a long time to get home was because he proposed to his girlfriend. Natalie, who is heartbroken by the news, ends up overworking as a defense mechanism.
In the alternate reality, even though she is successful in obtaining a job with her idol Lucy, it takes Natalie a while before she can show her employer her portfolio. Natalie is hired by Lucy and she finds out right away that it’s not what she had wished for because she devotes almost all of her time fetching coffee instead of showcasing her creations.
She had already envisioned being a well-known animator by this point.
Natalie had also planned on falling in love, which she does with Jake. However, she completely overlooks the likelihood that they could split up, a scenario that occurs when Jake receives money for his movie and is required to spend six months in Nova Scotia. Despite their best efforts, the couple’s romance starts to crumble due to the distance between them, and Natalie loses her job as Lucy’s employee.
How are the two realities’ conflicts resolved?
The underlying point of the movie is that there are multiple routes life can send you down, but no matter which one you choose, it has the potential to lead you to where you desire to be.
In one reality after Lucy criticizes her work, Natalie creates Night Owl, an animation based on her daughter. She is then invited to participate on a panel at SXSW. Gabe, their child, and Natalie’s parents all go to show their support for Natalie.
Following Gabe and his band’s performance at the festival, Gabe and Natalie have a conversation. He explains that he and his former girlfriend split up after getting engaged. They both admit their feelings for one another. Additionally, Natalie expresses her exhaustion by worrying about their potential failings. Natalie decides to try things out with Gabe and finally admits her feelings for him.
Natalie’s projects end up being an achievement for her in both realities. She thus makes a movie and releases it, despite not adhering to the five-year plan in both instances. She additionally finds happiness and love in both situations. When Jake returns, following her voice mail to see her craft at the festival, they both rekindle their romance.
Which timeline does Natalie’s story actually follow?
The two very different realities merge at the climax of the movie while the couples travel to Natalie’s former sorority house, the location of the dreaded pregnancy test. As she approaches the mirror, Natalie assures herself that she is fine and that it’ll all be alright in the end, no matter what unfolds.
No one knows exactly which of the timelines turns out to be true, but that’s part of the movie’s message: Despite obstacles and available options, situations will always manage to work themselves out.
The lead character faces difficulties in both types of realities. In addition to having fundamentally different struggles, Natalie’s five-year plan is abandoned in both cases for different reasons.
Natalie utilizes the life experience from both realities to seek her ultimate objective of transforming into an artist, and even though the two realities lead her on different routes, she still succeeds in achieving the objective she set out to accomplish from the beginning, despite not relocating to LA or having experienced her idols rejection.
Natalie continues to enjoy a dream job and a partner she loves, despite her negative pregnancy test results. The result of the positive test leaves her with a fulfilling career too, along with a partner she loves, and a child who served as an inspiration for her profession.
Read More: Look Both Ways Movie Review