Natural Selection (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Natural Selection (2012)



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Linda White (Rachael Harris), a devoted Christian housewife, leads a sheltered existence in suburban Texas. Her world is turned upside-down when she discovers that her dying husband, Abe, has a 23-year old illegitimate son named Raymond (Matt O'Leary) living in Florida. Somewhere on the edge of guilt and loneliness, Linda grants Abe's final wish and sets off on a quixotic journey to find Raymond and bring him back. Along the way, Linda's wonderfully bizarre relationship with Raymond will teach her more about herself than she ever imagined possible and force her to come to terms with her troubled past. -- (C) Cinema Guild
R (for sexual content, language, brief graphic nudity, a beating and some drug material)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Matt O'Leary
as Raymond
John Diehl
as Abe White
Jon Gries
as Peter
Stephanie King
as Shaunice
Drake Dempsey
as Porno Priest
Michael Hyland
as Handsome Doctor
Gregory Grosh
as Sperm Clinic Doctor
Rob Huebel
as Martin
Sam Eidson
as Homeless Guy #1
Salvador Cabral
as Homeless Guy #2
Lauren Nailen
as Wigwam Clerk
Roger Hewitt
as Old Motel Clerk
Hallie Martin
as White Trash Fox
Melinda DeKay
as Stern Nurse
Rick Appleton
as Bartender
Mark Winslett
as Bus Employee
Connie Hughes
as Old Waitress
Kamlesh Patel
as Indian Motel Clerk
Loomis Warren
as Country Doctor
Joe Miller
as Police Officer #1
Skeeter Sewart
as Police Officer #2
Adrian Rocha
as Busboy
Grant James
as Family Doctor
Linda White
as Distracted Parishioner
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Critic Reviews for Natural Selection

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (17)

In the evolutionary spectrum of cinema, "Natural Selection" is like the duck-billed platypus, pretending to be warm-blooded but more than a little fowl.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

[Harris is] the one good thing in "Natural Selection."

Full Review… | July 5, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

However gritty this indie comedy may look (cinematographer Steve Calitri seems to be aping William Eggleston's photographs of the American south), it isn't all that different from an Adam Sandler vehicle.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[Harris is] the big reason that "Natural Selection" is so engaging.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

In Harris' hands, Linda is guileless but believable, her smile so worn and wary that it almost hurts to see it.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A coming-of-age portrait of a sweet, innocent, middle-aged Christian woman who bursts through the confines of a sexless marriage.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Natural Selection


A quirky coming of age story for someone old enough to be your mother! The chemistry between 2 polar opposites (Rachael Harris and Matt O'Leary) is what made this film brilliant!

Juli Norwood
Juli Norwood

Benefiting greatly from a riveting performance from Rachel Harris, Natural Selection is a great film about self-discovery. Although not as strong as other movies about religious repression (see Higher Ground), writer/director Robbie Pickering's glimpse into the life of devoted housewife Linda is still remarkable in its own right. From darkly comedic moments to quietly emotional scenes, Pickering understands how to inject humanity into ever odd character. Matt O'Leary continues to prove himself to be an actor worth watching. After his performance in Fat Kid Rules the World and this incredible (albeit similar) portrayal of a swindling addict burns his name and face into the memory of moviegoers. With a great supporting cast and clever scripting, Natural Selection is definitely worth a viewing and maybe even a second. For more movie reviews visit:

Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin

It's a shame this movie has gone fairly unnoticed since Rachael Harris turns in a pretty tremendous performance as this repressed woman whose husband has refused to have sex with her for 20+ years since she isn't able to have children. Abe, her husband believes, that since Linda cannot have children then they shouldn't have sex simply for pleasure as 'it is what the lord wants'. The irony of it is that every week for 20+ years Abe has been going to a sperm donation agency and jerking off into a cup so who knows how many children he has actually fathered. During his last visit Abe has a heart attack and that's the basis of Linda's journey as during one of her visits to the hospital, Abe starts to mumble and Linda, whether accurately or not, makes out that she should go and bring his son to his side. This really isn't unlike other indie road trip movies, but it's still really good with great writing and great acting. Rachael gives a very sympathetic portrayal of this woman who pretty much is completely out of her element on the road and how she finally comes out of her shell that's she's kept herself in for all this time to be a supportive wife to a man who's lied to him for 20+ years. She has great chemistry with Matt O'Leary, who's really good as well. He has the dirty, grimy look that's a good contrast to Linda. The movie is funny, it's not hilarious but it is funny with some clever lines, well there's one really clever line during the porn movie that Abe is watching when he has his heart attack. But the writing is still very solid with great character development and great interactions between the leads. The movie ends up becoming a romantic comedy and in some cases it would end up hurting the movie. In this case, it doesn't. It doesn't benefit it either, but it's more important that it didn't detract from the movie. And the ending is also good seeing Linda choose to make her own path by herself, that was pretty cool and satisfying. That's about it really, damn good movie highlighted by an excellent performance by Rachael Harris. If you have Netflix Instant, then I'd recommend it, even if it's not really a movie that's worth going out of your way to see.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

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