Based on director Karen Maine’s own experiences as a Catholic high schooler “Yes, God, Yes,” now on VOD and Blu Ray, is a look at a young woman’s sexual awakening as she grapples with the taboos that surround her faith.
Set in the early 2000s, “Yes, God, Yes” stars Natalia Dyer as Alice, a sheltered sixteen-year-old who accidentally stumbles into a racy AOL chatroom. The lewd photographs and provocative conversation are unlike anything she’s ever seen or heard and it sets her on a journey of self-discovery.
At a brisk 77-minutes (including credits) “Yes, God, Yes” is a breezy and often insightful coming-of-age story. The push and pull Alice feels between her faith and her burgeoning sexuality is sensitively handled by Maine and delicately portrayed by Dyer. Stuck between naiveté and some rather adult thoughts, she is at the cusp of great change, feeling her way through her awkward formative years. The film gives her space to do so, and each low-key revelation feels authentic.
This isn’t a movie with big moments, just a series of occasionally frank but often sweet set pieces. From Alice’s self-conscious confessions to an excruciating rendition of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” to pretending every roasted marshmallow is a mortal sin before holding it to the fire, “Yes, God, Yes” is finely and respectfully observed. In Alice the movie finds an everyperson character, an adolescent working her way through feelings of confusion and shame in pursuit of her own pleasure.
“Yes, God, Yes” doesn’t judge its characters, even when they are too chipper to be believed or preaching abstinence-led sex education. Instead, it paints a picture of a time and place and allows the characters to inhabit it.