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Relive Your Awkward Teen Sexual Awakening in YES, GOD, YES

A teenage girl experiences her sexual awakening thanks to an online chatroom. As she seeks to quell the temptation, she can’t help but to become more and more curious – leading her to discover the hypocrisy of her wholesome upbringing. Starring Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Yes, God, Yes is a hilarious throwback to any millennials foray into the online world regarding sexuality, with all the awkwardness included.

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Having spent her life being the epitome of a responsible Catholic girl, Alice (Dyer) finds herself tempted by some scandalous online chats. When she is sent some explicit images, she begins to experiment with masturbation, which she has been taught is bad. Combined with a nasty rumor going around school, Alice finds herself confused and judged, while hiding her sexual thoughts from ever her best friend.

In an attempt to reconnect with her faith, and atoning for her wandering mind, she attends a religious weekend retreat. The retreat is something of a status symbol, one that only the coolest of cool kids attend; and she’s set on impressing the cool girl in school Nina (Alisha Boe), as well as pleasing her teacher Father Murphy (Timothy Simons). However, the weekend reveals the hypocrisy from her religious idols, as she begins to come to terms with her urges being completely normal.

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Yes, God, Yes was such an unexpected gem, which serves as writer/director Karen Maine’s directorial debut. It’s based on Maine’s short film of the same name, which she released in 2017, also featuring Dyer. Maine’s writing hilariously, and painfully, encompasses every awkward part of being a teenager, especially in the early 2000s and especially when your hormones begin raging. From Alice’s obsession with the PG-13 sex scene in Titanic, to the way the camera hones in on her crush Chris’ arm as she swoons, as if it’s this insane sexual object. Everything just perfectly showcases our utterly dorky teen “turn on’s”.

Growing up in the age of The Jonas Brothers and other similar wholesome acts, I feel most 30-something’s can relate to that surge of popularity with religious youth groups and purity rings, alongside the constant pressure to stay as G-rated as possible. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t easily explore some naughty things on the internet. Which is why the early 2000s setting is just far too perfect in this film. All the cringe-worthy memories of adolescence are there.

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I’ll liken the film a bit to Saved (2004), simply given the overall plot of religious education, sex-positive storyline and comedic tone, but this film is definitely all its own. It does a wonderful job of portraying the natural humor that comes with our teen years – how we struggle with that confusing time and how most turned to the internet as a means of judgement-free education and exploration.

Yes, God, Yes is available now on VOD

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