Alice (Natalia Dyer)’s sexual curiosity is getting her unwanted attention at her Catholic high school. After an illicit AOL chat and a rumor about her performing a sexual act on another student, high school is now even more awkward for the already awkward Alice. When an opportunity arises to go to a supposedly life-changing spiritual treat, Alice jumps at the chance. However, at the retreat she quickly learns that the perception of purity is toxic especially when everyone has their own secrets, including her.
Written and directed by Karen Maine, Yes, God, Yes is a gentle coming-of-age story that examines problems with purity culture. Set during the time when AOL chats and Yahoo! searches online were the norm, Alice navigates the online world to discover her own sexuality. The film tackles all sorts of topics, including gossip, misogyny, homosexuality, and shaming, with a light touch. As someone who had a strict religious upbringing and grew up during this technological era, I found Alice’s story very relatable. The film could have delved into some other aspects of purity culture and religion or given us more background on the characters. However, doing so would have made the story more heavy-handed. Instead, Maine gives us a movie that is equal parts enjoyable and revelatory.