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VOD Review: Yes, God, Yes

December 7, 2020

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Alice (Natalia Dyer), the main character in the cheekily titled coming of age film Yes, God, Yes, is a good Catholic girl in the early 2000s. She goes to church on Sunday, and attends Catholic school, where she is taught by Father Murphy (Timothy Simons) that sex is something only to be done within the confines of a heterosexual marriage, and that masturbation is a sin.

Alice is already seen as a pariah at high school due to a rumour going around that she hooked up with her classmate Wade (Parker Wierling) at a party and “tossed his salad” (a helpful explanation for what this means is included in an opening title card), which she denies ever happened.

When Alice engages in a racy AOL chat, she becomes conflicted, struggling to suppress her newly awakened sexual desires. The majority of the film takes place at a Catholic youth camp, where Alice develops a crush on one of the other participants, a charismatic guy named Chris (Wolfgang Novogratz). It’s here that Alice starts to realize the hypocrisy of those around her, as she goes on an unconventional journey of coming to terms with the fact that, despite what she is being taught, her sexual urges are perfectly healthy.

Written and directed by Karen Maine, expanding her 2017 short film of the same name to feature length, Yes, God, Yes is a teen sex comedy that finds the right balance between raunchy humour and surprising tenderness. Dyer, who is best known for Stranger Things, carries this winsome film with a very likeable performance, doing a fine job of depicting her character’s internal conflict between acting on her desires and trying to do what she is told is right by suppressing them. Despite the subject matter, she plays the character with a genuine innocence that helps sell her initial naivete.

The film is short, it’s just over seventy minutes to credits, but Maine uses this time quite economically to tell a story that is engaging, funny and, above all, surprisingly sweet. This is a small but very enjoyable film that boasts a pretty empowering message about the harm that can be done when people are made to feel ashamed for exploring completely normal aspects of their sexuality.

Yes, God, Yes will be available for rent and purchase on a variety of digital and VOD platforms as of December 8th. It’s being distributed in Canada by VVS Films.

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