D.E.B.S. [2004]

You can say this about D.E.B.S.: director Angela Robinson's 2005 feature isn't very good, but it is surprisingly entertaining. The premise, which bears a passing resemblance to any number of previous films (from Heathers and Clueless to Charlie's Angels and the Austin Powers franchise), involves a secret government agency recruiting young women as spies, based on their smarts, their ability to lie convincingly, and the fact that they look fetching in ultra-miniskirts. Four of the D.E.B.S. are then charged with collaring "criminal mastermind" Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), who has returned to the States after hatching all manner of nefarious plots overseas. Then comes the twist: Diamond is gay, and one of our heroines, Amy Bradshaw (Sara Foster), unexpectedly finds herself falling in love with her. Out goes the espionage element; in comes the love story, and therein lies the surprise, as this burgeoning lesbian relationship is handled with unexpected sympathy, even tenderness. Sure, the acting, even by veteran grownups like Holland Taylor and Michael Clarke Duncan, is almost uniformly lame, and the script is silly; overall, the film would have to put on considerable weight to even be considered frothy. Still, D.E.B.S. isn't a bad way to kill a couple of hours. DVD bonus features include a making-of featurette and commentary by Robinson and the cast. --Sam Graham

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