Natural Selection Reviews
One day Abe has a stroke. He becomes laid up in a hospital bed as a result. Linda goes to his side, but discovers something very disturbing about how he had the stroke. It turns out he was masturbating to nun porn at a sperm bank. Who would've thought! You would think that would be the disturbing thing, but it's been something Abe has been doing for the pass 25 years.
Linda is devastated at this betrayal. She hates Abe for this, but just wants him to recover. You see Linda has a problem with being alone. She doesn't like it. She wants someone near her, to wake up to, to be intimate with and to just give it her all! She's, well, a woman after all and should be treated with respect. I'll get into more about that later.
Anyway, Linda overhears Abe mumbling about a son. She goes to the sperm clinic to find the whereabouts of Raymond, Abe's son. He lives in Tampa and has recently broke out of prison. She journeys there to hopefully bring him back with her before Abe passes on. The journey mainly consists of motels as does much of the action in the film takes place.
Linda doesn't like being alone like I mentioned before. It scares her and sometimes she can not sleep because of it. While on her way to meet her "son" she rings up the front desk at a motel just to chat with the desk clerk. That's how lonely she is. She's a sweet heart and doesn't give up on a cause. Especially one as important as this. When she meets Raymond it turns out he's a drug addicted mullet brat and member of the slaughter patrol. At first he resists going back with her until the cops show up.
Raymond warms up to her over time and somehow she becomes a mother figure to him. The bantering between the both of them is almost like a mother son relationship, but it slowly gets weird as both begin to reveal too much of themselves sending both into a moment of temptation for which they succumb to. You have to remember that she really isn't her son by blood. More like a stepson I suppose.
When Abe recovers from his stroke new truths are found out about Raymond. I won't spoil it, but it gives Linda new choices to pick from in her life as she's given the opportunity to finally, well, be free from all the bullshit she's ever had to deal with and finally have respect on her terms. This isn't your typical quirky indie drama about a Christian woman trying to reunite her husbands long lost son to him. It's very dark and hilariously bleak, but also sweet thanks to someone like Linda. Rachael Harris gives a great performance and the whole film itself is such a pleasure to watch. Kind of like a unicorn taking a shit made out of lullabies.
"Natural Selection" is an engaging movie that in gentle and occasionally amusing tones manages to respect the beliefs and actions of its characters.(Although one could say that maybe Abe's stroke was divine punishment.) As much as it is about religion, one of the movie's central themes is birth and rebirth, especially in its opening scene, as this is the first time Linda is really away from home, as rules become less and less important as time goes on. Another way of looking at it is how children can wreck your life. So, while the movie is a little predictable at times in following the rules of the road movie, it also does not take the easy way out, especially at the end.