Natural Selection - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Natural Selection Reviews

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March 24, 2013
Predominantly this is about a 40-year old woman's journey from breaking the shackles and taking flight. But the film is so well-centered around the lead character - and Rachael Harris does not disappoint - that you're glued throughout the predictability.
March 1, 2013
soliden film,koj pomina na mnogu festivali vo Evropa i Kanada,...realno do koren,nema zbor
January 25, 2013
Debuting director Robbie Pickering shows exceptional promise with Natural Selection, his knockout first feature, a film that springs remarkable surprises on a bare-bones budget. Rachel Harris is all kinds of amazing as Linda White, a real-life Texas housewife, but without the flamboyant appearance. Linda has spent years being a faithful and loyal Christian wife to husband Abe (John Diehl, terrific). Abe however is an unmitigated hypocrite who hasn't had sex with Linda since she was diagnosed as infertile, because apparently it's sinful to spill your seed when it's impossible to impregnante the woman. So just imagine Linda's reaction when Abe has a stroke. While jerking off at a Houston sperm bank, something he's been sneaking off to do for years. With Abe on the verge of dying Linda tracks down one of the results of Abe's donations, and she finds Raymond (Matt O'Leary), an escaped convict in Tampa, Florida, avoiding cops as well as soap and water. Thus begins the road trip with Linda driving Raymond back to Texas with her to meet daddy. It's these scenes that become the heart of the film, working wonderfully from Pickering's own screenplay which avoids trite cliches. No fair spoiling the surprises, including Linda's bitch of a sister, Sheila (Gayland Williams) and her minister husband (Jon Gries), whose long had a crush on Linda. The chemistry between Harris and O'Leary is extraordinary, two actors alert to the curveballs the script tosses. The scene of the two breaking into a diner and having it out emotionally is one of a kind, and a testament to Pickering's talents. O'Leary is great as an introvert opening up for the first time, but Harris is Natural Selection's MVP. Best remembered as Ed Helms' ball-busting fiancee in The Hangover, Harris is superb. She knows Linda down to her fingertips and never once looks down on her faith, whether in God or herself. It's a terrific performance in a most wonderful film.
November 26, 2012
The lead character seems pretty unflappable and tolerant for someone that's spent her entire life within a conservative church congregation and the relationship between her and her husband seems completely incongruous with how we are told they got together but there are a few nice moments in this unusual road movie and I liked the ending.
½ November 25, 2012
Between a 6/10 and 7/10, It'd be easy to thread this story through with condescension, but instead, it's modest and compassionate, a midlife awakening for a woman long out of touch with her own needs.
November 18, 2012
Neither good nor bad ...
November 15, 2012
Abe and Linda are devout Christians who do not have sex as regularly as they should. Abe thinks it'd be a sin to act on such desires and Linda is so horny she wants nothing more but to be intimate with him. An abortion when Linda was a teenager has left her barren and children are not going to happen. Abe loves her despite it, but is only with her out of pity.

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.
November 6, 2012
I can see it being enjoyed more by others
April 4, 2012
Great movie. Made me laugh. Go see it!!!
April 3, 2012
Great movie!!!! Definitely a must see!!
April 3, 2012
Wonderful film! The writing is excellent and Rachel Harris is extraordinary. Loved the story.
March 18, 2012
The darkest kind of comedy, where you laugh through your tears.
Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2012
Noticing her husband Abe(John Diehl, of "The Shield") at full mast in bed one morning, Linda(Rachael Harris) tries to initiate things but he stops her solid with a little prayer, feeling that sex should not done just for pleasure, as she is not able to conceive. At least, she can confide in her brother-in-law and church pastor, Peter(Jon Gries, of "The Pretender"). At least, Abe can masturbate in the privacy of donating sperm until he has a stroke while stroking off. As things do not look good for him, Linda promises him to bring back his biological son, Raymond(Matt O'Leary), before it is too late. Of course, their first meeting does not go as she imagined it...

"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.
½ March 17, 2012
This is a good movie mainly because of the heartwarming story that is developed around the lead characters. Half way through the film i thought that maybe this movie might have just missed the central idea but the ending does rescue the film. It also serves as a platform for Harris to turn in a powerful performance.
½ March 15, 2012
sometimes a little sparse, but overall some really good laughs...worth finding out...
March 14, 2012
Captivating and poignant. The time flew by for me, but not for the jews living in hell. Interesting portrayal of the polish people. I left with wet eyes.
March 13, 2012
looks like another chance to bash Christianity. Like the world needs another one of these movies -.-, Paul was good enough thank you.
March 9, 2012
The best kind of movie. It stays with you long after leaving the theater. Harris is gold, O'leary rocks. Funny, emotional and surprisingly personal. Not to miss.
January 26, 2012
So good. This is exactly what I wish all film was.
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