I remember seeing a poster at the theater in 2005 for a movie coming out soon and I rolled my eyes. The poster was a picture of four young women dressed in short plaid skirts, and my immediate impression was that it must be a stupid teen exploitation movie. I didn’t give it another thought.
But then a funny thing happened. Quite some time after that I started seeing the movie mentioned in a lesbian context, and in a positive way! Obviously I had missed something. And who can blame me? Slutty school-girl outfits don’t scream “lesbian movie”, the two put together causes cognitive dissonance. Eventually I ran across a DVD copy in the discount bin at a video store, so bought it to finally see for myself what the deal was.
Yeah, I’d been missing something. I love D.E.B.S. At the IMDB it only has a 5 star (out of 10) rating and at Rotten Tomatoes it has a pitiful rating of only 39%. I don’t care, I love it anyway. It’s spoofy and over the top, but it’s also sweet and tons of fun.
The casting is great. Sara Foster and Jordana Brewster play the lead roles and they have amazing, natural chemistry. It doesn’t hurt that Jordana Brewster is droolworthy. (I seriously feel like a dirty old lady while watching her.) Jill Ritchie plays Janet and her expressions throughout the movie are pure gold.
Jessica Cauffiel as the assassin Ninotchka has hardly any screen time, but she makes the most of it. I crack up every time she does her arm movement when saying she really wants to be a dancer while on a blind date with Brewster’s character. Jimmi Simpson as Scud is a treat to watch. Meagan Good nails the part of Max, and the cherry on top is Holland Taylor doing a hilarious job as Ms. Petrie.
It appears that one of the major complaints from critics is that the plot is too thin to hold up a full length movie. And I have to say that on this point they aren’t wrong. Another frequent complaint is about the acting and dialogue, and here I have to disagree, at least in part. Some of the acting is off at times. And some of the dialogue is bad, though in this case I think maybe intentionally so. But for me, the great lines, the romance, and the funny moments shine through and provide more than enough entertainment to make up for the movie’s weaknesses.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched D.E.B.S. now. It’s one of those movies I can pop in when I just want to kill an hour and a half, have a few laughs, and feel good. It will never be considered great, but sometimes that’s all I need from a movie, and D.E.B.S. delivers on that score.