Natural Selection ★★★★

I was pleasantly surprised where the story of Natural Selection led me to, whilst not groundbreaking it managed to stop itself following a far more predictable course. Thanks in the main to the leads of the piece Matt O'Leary, who plays Raymond and Rachael Harris as Linda.

Linda comes into contact with Raymond after having her domestic life turned upside down, following her husband Abe suffering a stroke. They are both God fearing Christians living amongst a very tight knit religious community although she has her frustrations. Abe refuses to engage in any sexual activity since complications following Linda's abortion led her unable to bare any more children. Seeing it as God's message and crossing such a line would be deemed as unholy.

The problem for Abe is, his secret of visiting a sperm bank every week to release his frustrations are openly exposed once he falls to the floor, needing an ambulance. Linda soon gets the bigger picture of the length of time this has been going on. "I don't know exactly," says the nurse. "I only started working here in 1988."

Yet Linda is so unaware of a life away from the marital home she dare not think of leaving. In fact, upon hearing Abe wildly mumble on his hospital bed that he wants to see his son, she takes it upon herself to track him down, via the clinic and bring the long lost son 'home'.

It follows on into the typical culture clash situations, as Raymond is a junkie, living in run down place, morally a million miles away from Linda's reserved lifestyle. What stops it falling into a run of the mill road trip is that there is no heavy mocking of Linda's background, or of Raymond's in fact, instead they are both realised as fully fledged characters with issues to see through. That's not to say this isn't a funny film, although not hilarious, but it works because you underneath beneath both of their troubles, lies a beating heart.

You can just imagine that in the wrong hands this would've big scripted in much broader terms and completely missed the point going for the cheap laughs. Thankfully director and writer Robbie Pickering not only got his casting spot on, he also allowed the room to bring them to life.