Yes, God, Yes Movie Review
I only went to church camp once growing up, and I remember two things distinctly: a fasting day, where all they served in the cafeteria was bread (WTF?) and hiding in my room with my roommate eating candy during the mandatory church services. Needless to say, church camps are weird. They also make great fodder for comedies.
Yes, God, Yes is a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl (Natalia Dyer, Stranger Things) who has been raised to feel guilty about all things, especially her budding sexuality.
In other words, she’s Catholic.
And her sexuality is certainly budding, as she begins to experiment with cybersex--the movie is set in the 90s, so AOL Chat is the way to go--and notice boys in a whole new light. Thankfully she and some of her classmates are attending a weekend church camp to learn about sin, sexual suppression, and more.
Writer/director Karen Maine has assembled a fun little comedy-drama based in part on her own experiences. Though not as overtly funny or sardonic as Election or Saved!, Maine uses Yes, God, Yes to tell an endearing story while taking broad, grinning swipes at the hypocrisy of religion and Catholicism’s backward thinking on sexuality. The movie is smartly written and cheekily acted.
Dyer is terrific in the lead role. Perfectly cast for both appearance and talent, she straddles--and sometimes literally--the line between humorous and dramatic, innocent and sexually curious. Always with a twinkle in her guilt-filled eyes, she makes it all look so natural.
Yes, God, Yes doesn’t quite have the comedic spark you’d expect, but Maine clearly wasn’t intending to make the next laugh-out-loud comedy. Rather, she superbly mines the comedic gold of the confusing messages teenagers often hear about sex and faith. Recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.