Title: Yes, God, Yes
Director: Karen Maine
Actor(s): Natalia Dyer, Francesca Reale
Runtime: 1 hour 18 minutes
Alice (Natalia Dyer, of Stranger Things fame) is a Catholic schoolgirl in a profoundly repressive environment. She is taught that sex is created by God solely for the purpose of procreation and having sex for pleasure or masturbating are mortal sins. Alice is a 90’s kid, and the internet is a fairly new invention, and an incident in a chatroom leads her to explore her own sexuality.
This leads to problems and when she goes on a faith-based excursion she starts getting slut-shamed about an encounter she allegedly had with a classmate (Parker Wierling.) Her best friend (Francesca Reale) turns against her and she starts to question her faith and the puritanical values she’s grown up with.
Yes, God, Yes is not as scatological as the title suggests, preferring to take a down-to-earth approach to a story of girl from a deeply religious community coming of age. It doesn’t put a lot of focus on poking fun at Christians like something like Saved! (2004); everyone feels like a real person with a combination of vulnerability and hypocrisy.
Natalia Dyer’s performance could probably benefit for having a little more range, but Alice is a both sympathetic and flawed protagonist, and the movie avoids the usual tropes of the genre and provides something relatively fresh and heartfelt for secular audiences.
I would have liked a little bit more as far as storyline (it ended very abruptly) and it falls into the trap of the ‘big meaningful speech by main character’ scene where Alice stands up in front of her peers and states the message of the movie, but it still manages to feel a lot more realistic than most movies that deal with the subject of religious fundamentalism.
It’s definitely more of a drama than a comedy but there are a few laughs to be had here and there (mostly of the awkward variety.) I wouldn’t mind watching another film that features this character so we can get a look of where her journey of self-discovery and self-pleasure takes her.