Yes, God, Yes explores the joys (and shame) of female masturbation

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Stranger Things star Natalia Dyer’s new movie, Yes, God, Yes, already has a 93% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s what you need to know. 

For a very long time, American Pie ruled supreme when it came to teen sex comedy films.

Centred on a group of high school friends – Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Chris “Oz” Ostreicher (Chris Klein) and Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) – and their seemingly never-ending quest to lose their virginity, the movie was very much aimed at a male audience. 

As such, women were desirable, inexplicable, mythical creatures to the American Pie quartet. Alien, almost. And so they filmed a naked foreign exchange student without her knowledge. They described breasts as feeling like “bags of sand”. They decided to have sex with a warm apple pie sitting on the kitchen counter. And they assumed, wrongly, that female masturbation looked just like it did in porn films, too.

Thankfully, of course, things have changed since 1999. Which means that, following hot on the heels of Booksmart, comes Yes, God, Yes, another brilliant coming-of-age comedy written from a female perspective.

Here’s what you need to know about the must-watch movie.

What’s the plot of Yes, God, Yes?

In a nutshell? Alice, a 16-year-old Catholic girl, finds herself plagued by “lustful” thoughts after an AOL chat turns unexpectedly racy.

For those who want a little more detail, the film focuses on Alice’s discovery of masturbation and all the guilt, shame, and pleasure that comes with it. Keen to seek redemption, she attends a four-day religious retreat (described by the director as a “brainwashing” experience) to try and suppress what she sees as “sinful” urges, but her mission becomes increasingly impossible when she finds herself falling head-over-heels for a cute upperclassman.

Is there a trailer for Yes, God, Yes?

You bet there is. Check it out:

Who makes up the cast of Yes, God, Yes?

Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer shines in Yes, God, Yes as Alice, while Timothy Simons ups the cringe-factor as Father Murphy.

The film also boasts performances from Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell, Parker Wierling, Alisha Boe, and Donna Lynne Champlin.

Who directs Yes, God, Yes?

Written and directed by Karen Maine, the filmmaker has since revealed that Yes, God, Yes was loosely inspired by some of her own teenage experiences.

“I wouldn’t say [Alice] is me,” Maine tells EW. “I’d say she’s going through what I also went through as a teenager, and is a compilation of many different people’s experiences, not just my own.”

Explaining why she wanted to keep things naturalistic and authentic, Maine adds: “[Female sexuality] is not something that’s readily discussed. And so, it therefore is led to be something for women to discover on their own, often when they’re quite young. And there’s always a sense of shame around that.

“I’m just hoping that if the film does reach a younger audience, that they see it and they feel a little less weird or bad about themselves for having very normal feelings.”

What are critics saying about Yes, God, Yes?

The film currently boasts a 93% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the website’s critics consensus noting: “Natalia Dyer’s charming performance – and writer-director Karen Maine’s sensitive work – will leave audiences saying Yes, God, Yes to this coming-of-age dramedy.”

Where can I watch Yes, God, Yes?

The film is available to stream on Amazon Prime for just £4.49. 

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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