The co-writer of Obvious Child makes a fine debut behind the camera in reminiscing about her adolescence in Iowa.
Karen Maine shuns the lewd and crude in her Yes, God, Yes which stars Natalia Dyer (best known for the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things”).
In looking at the struggling teen in Dyer’s Alice a rather tidy tale unfolds in the early aughts with furrowed eyebrows as she has to handle being deemed a ‘loose girl’ in a Catholic high school. At least by a student and staff member with some sway.
The expressiveness from Dyer makes the move a favorable spin on the coming-of-ager with the distaff glance as yearning and piety clash.
Spiritual hauteur with notions of iniquities like shame come into play where hypocrisy manifests itself around confusion and misunderstanding. The astute director also draws from her own previous (short) form with occasional lags in order to let her protagonist reach a certain understanding in developing a certain identity.
A bright, subtle portrait from Dyer has noticeable secondary turns from Timothy Simonds as stern, gawky Father Murphy and Susan Blackwell who has an important conversation with Alice when she disappears from a retreat. Yes, God, Yes is maneuvered in ways that could irritate certain Bible-thumpers but shows with self-effacing flair how many don’t practice what they preach.