Written & Directed by: Karen Maine
Starring: Natalie Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell.
Yes, God, Yes is a debut film from director Karen Maine, where the main role of Alice is starring Natalia Dyer who is well known as Nancy from Stranger Things. The plot of the film focuses on a Catholic teenager who is growing up in the early 2000s but discovers masturbation after an AOL chat turns naughty by the person sending the messages. After this discovery, Alice (Natalie Dyer) struggles to suppress her newfound urges due to her religion.
Throughout the film, it is very heavily leaned upon Alice’s confusing inner thoughts. It shows just how innocent she is when she discovers there has been a rumour about her at school stating she “tossed the salad” which, to Alice, she has no idea what this means, but everyone else seems to know (and there is a reference to what this means at the start of the film). Whilst the wider world is being learnt by her peers, Alice seems to believe everything she is taught and remains clueless and naive especially towards sexual references and feelings, where she does notice she becomes frequently aroused to a level she is unable to control.
After deciding to become part of the school’s retreat, which is a Catholic camp named Kirkos, over 4 days, Alice gets more than she bargained for when she discovers a lot about herself but also about her peers when she learns that most of them do not practice what they preach, even her teachers too.
Within the film, there is a scene which made me cringe but also laugh when Alice finds herself obsessing over Chris’ (Wolfgang Novogratz) hairy arms, which is a very odd but funny scene to have Alice fantasize about, where she later fakes a fall when a group, including Alice, and Chris, are going for a walk in the woods, so Alice is carried back to the camp cabin by Chris.
Upon returning home from the Christian camp and being back at school, as a junior, Alice tries to build on her experiences, and control her sexual feelings, but seems to be reluctant to speak to anyone about this due to the shame she feels is involved, which is what led her to join AOL chat rooms, at the start of the film, but it seems to be the only way she can discover a lot more about herself, than already discovered, as someone who has now discovered sexual thoughts and feelings.
The film does great in focusing on this, as it enables the focus on Alice and her new discovery of sexual desires which, during the film, shows the struggle in this due not receiving support around her because of the religion and the shame it holds.
Natalie Dyer portrays the character of Alice very well, as she can tell the story of Alice and the innocence of the character very well. After watching the film, I felt this was expressed very well, the script of the film seemed to have been written very well. Even though little is known about Karen Maine, her writing and directing of this film and the topic of religion worked very well, where I can only assume she may have grown up within a Catholic family and maybe have attended a Catholic school, as the writing of this film would have the viewer assume this due to the accuracy of the story and characters. The comedy of the film doesn’t override the focus of innocence for the telling of this film story, as there are most likely many teenagers who attend Religious schools who feel the same way as Alice does, in this film. The film is able to focus on the seriousness but also the ridiculous behaviours of it all for the viewers to laugh at some scenes, due to how silly they are.
This film is available to stream on Netflix now! If you haven’t watched it yet, but love Natalie in Stranger Things, then you will love her in this film, and I recommend this to watch.
I give this film a 4 star rating!