Sunday, August 02, 2020

Now Streaming: The naughty but nice Yes, God, Yes



From my 3.13.19 Variety review: “You don’t have to be Catholic, lapsed or otherwise, to be amused by Yes, God, Yes, writer-director Karen Maine’s semi-autobiographical account of a Catholic high school girl’s coming-of-age experiences with self-discovery and self-gratification. On the other hand, the gentle shocks of recognition afforded by this engaging indie comedy likely will be all the more enjoyable (when they aren’t mildly discomforting) for anyone, male or female, who remembers having to confess impure thoughts to an inquisitive priest, or fearing the consequences of actions so forcefully proscribed by nuns and lay teachers during religion (and, sometimes, biology) classes.

“The movie received a special jury prize for best ensemble after its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. But there can be no dispute that Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) is first among equals here as Alice, a 16-year-old virgin who has already experienced her first stirrings of sexual turn-on after watching — repeatedly — Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet steam up the windows of an automobile below deck on a VHS copy of Titanic.

“After that, it’s only a matter of time before Satan’s minions — well, OK, a couple cruising for a threesome in a dial-up AOL chat room that Alice inadvertently enters — coax her into her first exploration of masturbation. (VHS tapes? Dial-up AOL chat rooms? That’s right: The precise year is never announced, but these artifacts, along with pop tunes on the soundtrack, suggest a time period somewhere between the late 1990s and the early 2000s.)

“Dyer — who also made an impact at SXSW five years ago with her remarkably nuanced performance in Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns — is exceptionally adept at persuasively portraying Alice as simultaneously ingenuous and inquisitive, easily embarrassed but obviously intelligent, while she grapples with both an awareness of her sexuality and the aftermath of a nasty rumor spread by an obviously insecure classmate. (Don’t worry: He eventually gets what’s coming to him.)” 

Yes, God, Yes is now available on digital and VOD. You can read the rest of my Variety review here.

1 comment:

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