Growing up with dial up internet, it wasn’t even a joke that we would fast forward to and then rewind any and all sex scenes in a movie. Back and forth as Alice (Natalia Dyer) revisits the classic steamier than steamy PG-13 sex scene from the film Titanic. Unsure what her body is telling her while she watches this scene over and over, she’s sure of one thing, these are in pure thoughts. And she’ll be going straight to hell if she acts on them. Yes, God, Yes the feature debut from Karen Maine is a confident, biting look at a teenager discovering her own body and beliefs.
Early on in the film, Alice and her friends are lectured by their teacher, Father Murphy (played fantastically by Timothy Simons) that boys are like microwaves and girls are like ovens, they take longer to turn on. While navigating the weird wide spectrum of AOL chat rooms Alice meets a man who sends her photos that begins her sexual awakening. What follows is a unique and thoughtful look at a woman discovering her body and what turns her on in the all so funny awkward teenage ways.
As she attempts to question her sexuality she attends a weekend camp where you will become closer to God and find more meaning in your life. The set-up gives us a fun, quick camp vibe within a teen sex comedy that allows real life to set up it’s comedy. The film will surely tickle many viewers that were raised similarly while not pushing the envelope far enough to offend current believers. This is a personal and honest story and Maine has a lot on her mind here about sex and out of date religious beliefs.
What makes these films work so well is the cast of characters that we connect with and relate too. While the entire cast are fantastic and loaded with strong individual moments, the film is a spotlight for Natalia Dyer who plays Alice with restrained comedic brilliance. A performance that showcases the uncomfortableness of high school and the interesting self discovery that follows with each decision put forth.
Loaded with razor-sharp writing that takes more than a few stabs at the idea that sex outside of marriage (even masturbation) will send you to a fiery hell. The film finally gives young women a movie that shows it’s okay to figure out what you like and believe in on your own terms.
YES, GOD, YES will have you giggling all the way through to it’s climax and have you looking forward to what this fascinating new voice has in store for us in the future.