Look Both Ways, the new Netflix movie looks at the life of a young woman on the cusp of going for her dreams, with a metaphorical dual perspective. In what is a surprisingly insightful look at how decisions shape us and the life we create for ourselves, Wanuri Kahiu’s movie follows the life of Natalie (Lili Reinhart) – a young ambitious animator and artist, who on the eve of her graduation gets to the place where she may or may not be pregnant.

Diverging her life into two parallel realities – one of which is all about her going for her dream career in L.A, and the other is where she decides to have a child and move in with her parents, Look Both Ways allows us to witness Natalie’s life with a two-faced perspective.

While it does succumb to genre cliches and doesn’t really have what it takes to really build on that ambitious and wise premise in the third act, it is still a refreshing look at the decision that make and shape us. It is also helped by a warm screen presence by Reinhart, who is always endlessly watchable, no matter what.

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In the following list, I will look at movies that somehow feel like their share a part of the soul that Look Both Ways on Netflix possess, and in spite of how fresh this narrative is, these movies will make you feel like you are watching an extension of Natalie herself.

1. Sliding Doors (1998)

Movies like Look Both Ways Netflix - Sliding Doors

Greatly inspired by Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski’s 1987 film Blind Chance, the only reason Sliding Doors makes it and the aforementioned doesn’t, is because Sliding Doors feels like the director’s takeaway point for Look Both Ways. Both the films follow female protagonists whose different personalities are merely punctuated by a haircut.

To add to that, Sliding Doors is about Helen Quigley played by Gwyneth Paltrow, who, after getting fired from her job rushes to catch a train. Upon missing it, the film rewinds and comes back to the point where the train doors are closing and this time she catches it. The movie thus transpires into two different timelines; one where she catches the train and one where she doesn’t and investigates how such a small incident in someone’s life can make such a huge difference in how it plays out.

2. The Family Man (2000)

Brett Ratner’s The Family Man stars Nicholas Cage as Jack Campbell – a single, Wall Street executive living in New York City. According to him, he is living his best life, but a serendipitous meeting with Cash (Don Cheadle) changes it completely. On Christmas day, he wakes up and realizes that he is in New Jersey, living a comfortable life with two children and his wife Kate (who he abandoned 13 years ago to pursue a working life in NYC).

Like Look Both Ways, Campbell in The Family Man is given a shot to live his life as a married man with two children. He slowly gets the taste of what his life was and what it could have been. So, much like Nathalie in Look Both Ways, he has to make a decision as to whether he wants to choose his life as a Bachler or pursue this new, magical life as a Family Man.

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3. The Lake House (2006)

While we are considering movies like Look Both Ways, David Auburn’s 2006 film The Lake House definitely comes to mind. Though it doesn’t necessarily focus on parallel timelines, it does feature two separate time stamps. A remake of the South Korean movie Il Mare, The Lake House revolves around Bullock’s Dr. Kate Forster and Reeves’ Alex Wyler who begin a strange correspondence with each other when they both rent the same Lake House; but do that two years apart.

Featuring, the same gentle and broad strokes that feature in Wanuri Kahiu’s willfully optimistic Look Both Ways, The Lake House is a slightly implausible but endlessly watchable romance due to Bullock and Reeves’s charming performance and chemistry. In spite of not being in the same frame, the exchanges feel genuine (although overtly sentimental at times) and come off as a perfect wintertime watch.

4. The Good Night (2007)

Movies like Look Both Ways Netflix - The Good Night

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Talking about living two different lives, Jake Paltrow’s underseen 2007 film The Good Night,  stars Martin Freeman as a man who, while having a tough time maintaining his relationship with Dora (Gwyneth Paltrow), involves himself in lucid dreaming about a mysterious and sexy woman named Anna (Penélope Cruz). The Good Night is thus about expectation and realities and the decision and mistakes that shape our lives.

Like Look Both Ways, The Good Night is one of those movies that tends to tell us that even the best and worst of decisions sometimes bring us the same consequences that we wanted or feared. To add to that, it is also a stark comment on loneliness, in spite of coming off as disjointed and juvenile in its overall execution.

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5. About Time (2013)

Movies like Look Both Ways Netflix - About Time

What would you do if you had a chance to travel back in time? What would you do if changing things make things better only in hindsight? About Time does that. Starring Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, this Richard Curtis movie allows its protagonist to channel his time-traveling powers in order to get a girl. However, he soon realizes that this decision that he has made has its own set of responsibilities and repercussions.

About Time is one of those movies that doesn’t necessarily go dark with its subject matter and is thus a perfect double feature for someone who likes Look Both Ways. Both the movies have the common feature of two chances in life, looking at which makes us understand if taking one path was better than the other.

6. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between (2022)

Capping the list off is another Netflix movie that dabbles in the ‘what if’ scenario too. Like, Look Both Ways, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is one of those movies that have an ambitious protagonist at its center. It also deals with how this person has to choose to go to her old-school kind of romance or a life of self-built professionalism.

To top that off, both Look Both Ways and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between look at the idea of making a decision and choosing to live with, and not live with its consequences at the same time. While not following a dual narrative like Look Both Ways, the Netflix movie is also anchored by a charming and fresh lead performance by Talia Ryder.

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