Look Both Ways (2022): Movie Story Recap 


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.

She is concerned about the results, as all of her aspirations and dreams depend on this crucial moment. If she becomes pregnant and decides to have the child, she is aware that she’ll be unable to stick to her 5-year plan. The test results are negative, much to her relief… at least within the first timeline. The second switches things up and shows what would have happened had she received a positive result.

Moving to LA

When the test is positive in the alternate timeline, Natalie is forced to abandon her plans and reconfigure her life to make room for a child after having a brief conversation with Gabe. When she returns home, her mom and dad are shocked that their own plans have now been disrupted. But eventually they calm down and allow Natalie to stay with them while assisting her with the newborn. Gabe continues to be involved and accepts his share of responsibility.

Natalie travels to Los Angeles with her best friend Cara in the meantime, in the alternate reality. She lands a job with her idol, Lucy, while having a meaningful relationship with a good-looking producer named Jake. She believes she is on the right track, but is unaware that plans occasionally don’t work out.

Both timelines suggest that the events unfold over a period of five years, which interestingly converges with the time frame that Natalie had created for herself within her five-year plan. She shows up in the exact place at the same moment in both timelines, but with unique experiences and similar lessons. Natalie was anxious about the pregnancy test reports since she thought they might push her plans for the future off course. However, we witness that her plans ultimately crumble even within the timeline where she’s not pregnant.

Despite being successful in landing a job with her idol Lucy, Natalie is unable to show her portfolio to her boss for a considerable amount of time. She had anticipated that by this point she would have achieved success as an animator, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. The plan also included her falling in love, which does happen with Jake. However, she doesn’t prepare herself for the likelihood that they could split up, which is exactly what happens once Jake receives the necessary funds for his motion picture and has to spend 6 months in Nova Scotia.

What happens when Natalie becomes a mother?

A relatively similar thing happens to Natalie in the timeline where she chooses to keep the baby. While she initially believed that doing this is the right course of action, she goes through feelings of regret over not being able to relocate to LA and lead the life she desired. She was meant to advance in her life according to her 5-year plan, but instead, has returned home and is responsible for a child.

Soon after becoming a mother, Natalie faces challenges and panics as a consequence that she no longer has a life. Her daughter Rosie is suddenly the center of her universe.

Her romantic life is a complete mess in this timeline. Although she is unquestionably in love with Gabe, she is reluctant to jeopardize their harmonious friendship during that time, keeping her daughter Rosie in mind. She wonders, what if they start dating and later split up? What impact will that have on their child?

She can’t be around her friends since she can’t leave Rosie in another person’s care. Somehow, after all the postponing, obstacles, and justifications, Natalie returns to drawing and incorporates her motherhood experiences into her work, which is where things start to turn around. Rosie serves as the inspiration for her newest project, which she submits to SXSW.

The Set Path

In the parallel universe, the alternate Natalie heads home and attempts to discover her voice after Lucy says that her writing lacks originality. She spends a lot of time working on her idea before submitting it to SXSW.

The types of projects Natalie works on in both time periods are successful. Consequently, even though she didn’t stick to the 5 year approach in both instances, she still succeeds in creating and completing a movie. She additionally finds love in both situations. In one timeline, Jake visits her at the festival to check out her work. Natalie chooses to try things with Gabe in the alternate timeline and finally admits her feelings to him.

After all of this, she returns to the spot where it all began for her. It will be fine, Natalie tells her former self as she looks in the mirror. Regardless of what occurs or whether she becomes pregnant or not, her life will unfold exactly as it should. Natalie is convinced that she will always show up precisely where she is meant to be, regardless of whether it takes a different route. She cannot, therefore, be certain that her plans will be successful, no matter how many she ends up making. While it may frighten her to choose something she hasn’t anticipated or is foreign to, situations will follow its very own course, and she’ll be capable of figuring it out eventually.

How does Look Both Ways end?

Towards the end of the movie, the actual Natalie is shown, still clutching the pregnancy test. As we are not provided with information, anything could have happened. She could be expecting and decides to have the child, she could still recognize her aspirations despite her worries that they will be lost or she could decide to not have the child and then move to LA, which would change the course of her life. Or maybe the test could be negative, liberating her of the moral responsibility of making the difficult decision.

Whatever happens next, the sole thing that counts is that she must persevere through the challenging aspects, devote herself to her aspirations and not give up hope if life throws her an unforeseen curveball. The movie leaves the choice regarding Natalie’s fate to the viewers by not providing a clear answer.



What do you think of Look Both Way’s story? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!

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