NEW YORK (CNS) — Sex is more fun than being Catholic. That's the basic message of writer-director Karen Maine's semi-autobiographical drama "Yes, God, Yes" (Vertical).

Having promoted the physical death of the innocent by helping to pen 2014's abortion-themed romantic comedy "Obvious Child," Maine now boosts spiritual suicide with this screen memoir. Its premise is the shocking revelation that those who profess to be Christian are nonetheless prey to temptations to which they often succumb.

Thus sexual hypocrisy turns out to run rampant in the early-2000s world of the movie's stand-in for Maine, 16-year-old Catholic schoolgirl Alice (Natalia Dyer). She discovers just how widespread such deceit really is during a four-day retreat.

Presiding over the event is earnest-seeming Father Murphy (Timothy Simons). Need it be said that plot developments reveal that he has a secret and is not so dedicated to chastity as he appears?

Among the retreatants, who generally display a degree of cheerful goofiness that would have qualified them to audition for the original cast of "The Brady Bunch," are Alice's fellow student Wade (Parker Wierling), with whom she's falsely rumored to have committed an unnatural act, and her new acquaintance Chris (Wolfgang Novogratz), with whom she soon yearns to commit natural ones.

Earlier scenes of a sex-ed class led by Father Murphy misrepresent church teaching as holding that the only purpose of the gift of sexuality is procreation. But the agenda here has nothing to do with truth and everything to do with Alice's need to leave her supposedly repressive religion behind and learn to enjoy herself.

Dyer has a gift for eliciting sympathy and the script carries a worthwhile message about the harm done by gossip. Yet these positive elements are entirely overshadowed by the massive chip on Maine's shoulder and by the moral that the best way to overcome sins of the flesh is to stop calling them sins.

Nor is it only carnal transgressions that are overlooked. Alice frames Wade for something she's done wrong — with serious consequences for the way he's regarded by adults and his peers alike — and experience no remorse for having done so. Bearing false witness, it seems, is all part of growing up and achieving liberation.

The film contains anti-Catholicism, strong sexual content, including aberrant behavior and images of upper female nudity, a couple of mild oaths and a few uses of crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.