The new Netflix original romantic comedy Look Both Ways gives us two versions of Lili Reinhart for the price of one. In the charming new movie, the Riverdale star plays Natalie, a recent college grad and artist whose life takes two diverging paths with a fateful pregnancy test.
In one of Natalie’s potential paths, she’s pregnant and becomes a single mother, which puts her plans of moving to Los Angeles to pursue an art career on hold. In the other path, she follows through with moving to Los Angeles to become an artist.
Both of the realities present Natalie with trials and tribulations, one of which is love. The mom version of Natalie has a complicated relationship with Gabe (Danny Ramirez), her daughter’s father, while the artist version of Natalie falls for Jake (David Corenswet), her handsome co-worker. Does Natalie end up with Gabe or Jake or… both?
Warning: Spoilers ahead from the ending of Look Both Ways.
Does Natalie end up with Gabe in Look Both Ways?
When Natalie and Gabe hook up ahead of their college graduation, they are platonic friends who decide to sleep together in the spur of the moment. There aren’t any lingering feelings, especially when the test turns negative and Natalie and Gabe part ways.
However, there’s a parallel reality where the test isn’t negative and Natalie chooses to become a mother. She and Gabe remain close and in each other’s lives as they prepare for and ultimately co-parent their daughter Rosie. But they aren’t a couple — as much as they should be!
In the parallel reality, Natalie and Gabe navigate their complex relationship. Four years after having Rosie, Gabe expresses his feelings for her, but Natalie pumps the breaks in fear that they won’t work out. As Gabe moves on and proposes to another woman, Natalie’s regret seems apparent.
Thankfully, during a wonderful trip to the SXSW film festival, where Natalie speaks on a panel about her Night Owl comic and Gabe performs with his band, the sparks rekindle between the parents. Everything comes together for Natalie and Gabe, and they are finally a complete family.
Does Natalie end up with Jake in Look Both Ways?
After moving to Los Angeles with her best friend Cara (Aisha Dee), Natalie sends out résumés in search of a job in the art animation world. She applies for her dream job as the personal assistant to her idol Lucy Galloway (Nia Long) and sneaks into a local party thrown by her company, Tall Story Animation. By a stroke of fate, Natalie meets Jake at the party.
The two hit it off and have instant chemistry, and when Natalie goes in for her interview with Lucy, she learns Jake works at Tall Story. Of course, Natalie’s talent and determination lands her the job, and she and Jake continue to grow closer and closer with each date.
Unfortunately, just as Natalie and Jake are planning to move in together, Jake receives the job offer of a lifetime that takes him outside of the country. The demands of maintaining a long distance relationship wears on Natalie at the same time that she loses her job with Lucy.
It takes Natalie some time to pick up the pieces and find her voice as an artist, but she takes her broken heart and turns it into an animated short that premieres at SXSW. She shares the great news with Jake via voicemail and she’s surprised when she sees Jake left his job to attend her premiere, thus bringing the couple back together.
Look Both Ways ending explained
The ending of Look Both Ways brings both versions of Natalie to a peaceful conclusion while knowing that her story isn’t over yet. So, yes: Natalie ends up with Gabe and Jake — just not the same version of Natalie.
What the film does so well is avoid making any call on which of Natalie’s reality is better or “real.” Both paths present the same amount of challenges and struggles, but the primary focus of the story centers on Natalie realizing that no matter what happens, she will be okay.
Although she meets Jake in the reality where she becomes a mother, he doesn’t become part of that story. Likewise, she reunites with Gabe in the artist path, but they don’t rekindle the flame. Look Both Ways expertly touches on the heartwarming theme that no story, no path, no result is better than the other as long as you’re happy.
What did you think of the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments, and make sure to watch the movie now on Netflix!