Directed by Karen Maine.
Starring Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Francesca Reale, Wolfgang Novogratz, Alisha Boe, Parker Wierling, Donna Lynne Champlin and Susan Blackwell.
A Catholic schoolgirl discovers her personal sexual id and the twisted morals of others at a weekend retreat.
Flip of the century Catholic college is proving to be a fertile floor for American comedy in recent times. After Woman Fowl mined a non secular college in early-noughties California to the tune of a number of Oscar nominations, writer-director Karen Maine is taking up the hermetically-sealed weirdness of a countryside Catholic retreat for Sure, God, Sure. The prospect of a comedy based mostly across the thought of illicit masturbation may seem to be a cringe-worthy hook for a grotesque sub-Apatow gross-fest, however Maine’s movie is as an alternative a wryly noticed and clever deal with.
Stranger Issues star Natalia Dyer performs teenage Alice, who’s looking forward to school as she nears the top of highschool. It’s a fundamentalist institution the place pupils are advised that “your physique is a present from God” and that any form of intercourse out of wedlock, both with others or your self, will result in “damnation for all eternity”. Vicious sexual rumours about Alice and a fellow scholar happen at a time when she is exploring her sexuality in personal by means of masturbation, and by rewinding the intercourse scene from Titanic together with her pal Laura (Francesca Reale). She decides to use to be part of a retreat run by Father Murphy (Timothy Simons) from the college, which isolates her with a bunch of different college students.
The retreat is an odd expertise that pushes Alice additional and additional away from the ethical restrictions she has all the time taken a lot to coronary heart, particularly as she step by step learns the hypocrisies that even probably the most good, apparently aspirational Catholics in her life are nursing. It is a film in regards to the methods during which adherence to harsh non secular doctrines merely pushes individuals’s private explorations into the shadows. Maine’s script neatly pricks on the inherent issues with non secular institutions, most notably in a superbly written bar scene involving Dyer and publican Gina (Susan Blackwell).
Extra merely, although, Sure, God, Sure is solely very humorous. It opens with a quote from the e book of Revelations that segues into an on-screen definition of “salad tossing” – a delightfully filthy working gag all through the film. The early noughties cultural references – Blink-182’s ‘Enema of the State’ album, a recreation of Snake on a really ugly cell phone – are delivered with a nod and a wink, whereas the inherent awkwardness of an AOL chat with a stranger makes for a scene of exquisitely cringe-worthy cybersex.
Dyer is terrific as Alice, marrying the innocence of sheltered adolescence with the earnest want to discover the world exterior of the arbitrary restrictions imposed by these round her. The best way during which she is aroused by the slightest factor – the best way her telephone vibrates towards her leg, the arm hair of smiling jock Chris (Wolfgang Novogratz) – is conveyed by Dyer with precisely the correct mixture of absolute seriousness and wink-nudge comedy. The supporting gamers additionally deserve credit score for his or her dedication to the cult-like pep of the ultra-earnest teenagers serving to to run the retreat.
Finally, Sure, God, Sure is somewhat slight at lower than 80 minutes and will have executed with a deeper psychological dive into the impacts of such a strict upbringing. Nonetheless, Maine delivers a brief, sharp burst of expertly crafted cringe comedy infused with a well-observed and eloquent critique of religion-centric schooling. It’s a superb calling card for no matter she chooses to do subsequent.
Flickering Fable Ranking – Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Film: ★ ★ ★ ★
Tom Beasley is a contract movie journalist and wrestling fan. Comply with him on Twitter via @TomJBeasley for film opinions, wrestling stuff and puns.
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