10 Thoughts on Classic Lesbian Movie D.E.B.S After Seeing It For the First Time Yesterday

co-written by Rachel and Yvonne

1. Jordana Brewster’s eyebrows

jordanna-debs

2. Early 2000’s makeup was not great

For people’s faces. Generally. But it WAS great if you were a compact of baby blue eyeshadow or a lipgloss.

eyeballs

3. It’s normal to come close to crying while watching this, right?

They’re just so cute! And they don’t die??? Not even one of them!

debs

4. Where is Bobby getting all these bracelets?

soft-pretzel

Did he already have the puka shell necklace on deck for Amy even before he dropped his dad’s FBI bracelet (why would the FBI give anyone a bracelet???) in Lucy’s soup? Or is he going to the bracelet store for these? What’s the story.

5. For a brief moment at the beginning it seemed like Max might be the main character, which would have been a very different movie

max

It still be a great movie. Maybe a little more like that Saoirse Ronan movie Hanna. Pretty bloody. Bobby wouldn’t make it, for instance. But maybe at the end Max just gets to move to an isolated seaside cabin where she can raise goats and live peacefully.

6. For someone who got a “perfect score” based on her ability to lie, Amy is not a very good liar!!!

debs-test-2

When Max catches her and Janet coming back from their surprise double date, Amy’s best excuse is “I was sad about Bobby and had to take a walk?” And she what, brought Janet? It’s not believable that anyone would bring Janet anywhere on purpose.

7. Janet is Ginger Spice, Max is Scary Spice, Dominique is Posh Spice, Amy is Sporty Spice, and Lucy is also Sporty Spice. I don’t think anyone is Baby Spice.

debs

Maybe it’s Amy, actually. I think you could make a case that Amy is Baby Spice. Please discuss.

8. What conditioner does Jordana Brewster use? Or is it like a heat styling serum? How is it so shiny?

shiny-hair

“That’s some Garnier Fructis hair.” — Lauren Taylor Klein

9. Would you be willing to let Meagan Good shoot at you with a gun IF before doing so she also strutted towards you wearing a plaid skirt. Explain your answer.

megangood

10. The Jodie Foster Reference!!!!!!

DEBS, Holland Taylor, Meagan Good, 2004, (c) Samuel Goldwyn

“Amy, I think you identify with Lucy Diamond. I think she sees your pathos. You’ve got some dangerous union symbiosis going on — What’s that movie with Jodie? And the little dog falls in the well with the lotion?”

BONUS: Which of these sourced-from-Livejournal D.E.B.S icons should Rachel start using as her profile picture on Slack?


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Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1136 articles for us.

123 Comments

  1. DIED at the casual jodie foster reference. am now a ghost. ghost editor.

  2. Kate

    The first time I watched this movie I was having a sleepover with a bunch of girls on my soccer team. We were only allowed to get a movie that was PG-13 and under, and the people who rented this movie had no idea how gay it was! I hadn’t come out yet (or really knew how gay I was), and watching this for the first time was one of the best moments of my life!

  3. okay but can we take a moment to discuss how Jill Ritchie, who plays Janet, IS KID ROCK’S SISTER?

    (I love Janet. I would take her everywhere. Let the haters begin!)

  4. David J. Peterson

    “Be open!”
    “Open to what?”

    “Open to LOVE!!!”

  5. whiplash-girlchild

    Yes, I would let Megan good shoot it mean wearing that skirt. That outfit in its entirety. I have zero shame about that fact.

  6. This movie was a glorious triumph for anyone who watched The Fast and the Furious and thought ‘if only Jordana Brewster liked girls’.

  7. 11. The cast, which includes gems like Devon Aoki, an under-used Holland Taylor, the late Michael Clarke Duncan and of course Jordana Brewster.

  8. Jordana Brewster’s skin, face, everything is seemingly created by a goddess. Also I love the soundtrack a lot!

  9. I LIVE for the breaking in montage. The special effects are unparalleled.

  10. Kayla

    Glorious nostalgia cringe-watch. Loved it when I was in my teens. Watching it now, I REALLY have to work to ignore how emotionally manipulative Lucy Diamond is, and how stockholm-syndrome-y their relationship feels.

    But also Jordana Brewster’s smile could literally melt my face off.

    And also, special shout out to that one overzealous dancing extra in the bar scene. You know the one.

  11. Watched this movie for the first time this year, actually! It was an experience, and a good one because of how overall happy it was. And I’d let Meagan Good shoot at me in any outfit of her choice, really.

  12. OH MY GOD I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU FEEL RACHEL!

    4) “Where is Bobby getting all these bracelets?” YES. And puka shells? COME THE FUCK ON BOBBY your last bracelet was like gold and shit, maybe the shells represent his craggy broken heart

    6) “it’s not believable that anyone would bring Janet anywhere.”

    7) shiny shiny glorious Brewster I need her hair to blanket me forever it’d be so soft

    9) I would most definitely let Meagan Good do absolutely anything ever towards me, including murdering me because the last thing I got to see was Meagan Good.

  13. GUH HUH HUH! I watched this at the recommendation of my Puppy-Crush-Never-Gonna-Happen-Friend like five years ago. Or yesterday. These Gifs are making me forgetful.

  14. yall this is so good. number 6!!!!!

    also commenting so heather will respond with a gif

  15. I first fell in love with Jordana Brewster watching the Faculty. I’ve seen that movie way more times than should be bearable based on the terrible plot and terrible acting and terrible everything. I mean the hero of the story is pretty much drugs. But, I digress. D.E.B.S. was a revelation. Plus I love campy comedy. But mostly I had dreamed of getting with Jordana Brewster since long before I knew I was gay.

    Also, this movie introduced me to Meagan Good. The only way this movie would be better would be if it had been Meagan Good and Jordana Brewster together instead. There has to be fan fic about that somewhere right? I hope so, because there needs to be. Now I need to re-watch this movie. And maybe the Faculty if I can find it. Just because.

    • Helena

      Oh! I saw The Faculty for the first time last month. I was really excited because I saw D.E.B.S. when I was but a baby gay and hoped Faculty would be similar. Sadly, that… really didn’t happen. I was so upset! It had camp, dumb teenagers, hot teachers, Jordana Brewster AND Clea DuVal! How was that movie not gay??? It even had a whole “no homo” storyline going on which was sad. Anyway, glad someone else has watched Faculty because it is funny and has so much queer potential.

    • Hat

      I’m here for your faculty feelings as I’ve never seen D.E.B.S. (although I will try to now). Faculty made me fall in love with Clea Duvall…but the ending is a bag of crap. Pink cardigan my ass. I mentally fanfic it all away so Stokely and Delilah ditch the guys and run off into the sunset.

  16. Yes I appreciate this! Has Angela Robinson made many movies since this? I had this theory around 2006 that she was going to make classic feelgood lesbian movies but I think she hasn’t done much since.

    Also I had a lengthy conversation about lip gloss in this movie with a friend recently who was like “Jordana brewsters mouth….” And I was like “but lip gloss is so sticky you clearly have never worn it” and she agreed, but she also appreciates a woman with shiny root beer flavored lips, which is not how I feel.

    Also love cats by the cure has been my favorite for years because of this movie.

    • GirlTrash was a decent movie and well worth a watch. It’s a queer lady musical and I think it’s the last film that Angela directed. She was a producer on the later seasons of true blood too.

      • I loved Girltrash too. It’s sad because Angela disowned the film because the version they released wasn’t her final cut. But it still holds up really well in the same way as DEBS but with singing and even more actresses who have played gay on tv.

    • I heard Angela Robinson is on deck to direct the Strangers in Paradise movie!!!

  17. Meredith

    It’s “Jungian” rather than, “union.” As in Carl Jung. Just FYI.

  18. This movie is one of my favorites. When I was first coming out, I pretty much just watched lesbian movies, and when I watched DEBS I couldn’t believe it existed. It was made for me. The campness, the slightly sci-fi undertones. It’s like a lesbian Charlie’s Angels, and that’s all I needed in my life at that point.

  19. I used to spend summers in college going back and forth from Blockbuster, getting two New Releases and one lesbian movie from the dinky, dusty aisle in the middle, the movies usually chosen by speedwalking by and stealthily grabbing one. I’d watch that movie alone when my parents were far, far away from the house with no chance of returning. But DEBS was different. DEBS I loved so much that I kept watching it until the day I had to return it. I watched it even when my parents were home.

    My mom walked in at one point and was like, “What is this movie? You’ve watched it a lot.”
    Me: DEBS. It’s the best.
    Mom: What’s it about?
    Me: Catholic school girls turned spies.
    Mom: Lesbian spies?
    Me:
    Mom:
    Me:
    Mom:
    Me: Yes.

    That’s when I realized maybe my mother was more perceptive about my Blockbuster trends than I thought. She remained in denial for as long as I was in the closet (and a little while after), and I wouldn’t come out for a few more years, but this was the first time I thought that maybe, just maybe, it would be okay if I ever did.

  20. Rebecca

    Hmmm I’d argue that Janet is baby spice…or maybe adorable sidekick spice

  21. Amy’s walk of shame with those long legs and short skirt is THE MOST GLORIOUS THING I’VE EVER SEEN ON FILM!!! Oy vey! R.I.P. me.

  22. Ari

    9. Would you be willing to let Meagan Good shoot at you with a gun IF before doing so she also strutted towards you wearing a plaid skirt. Explain Your answer.

    Answer: Yes. Because I am Not Straight.

  23. those livejournal icons just gave me a headache.

    that damn erasure song was my jam because of this movie.

  24. Never have I ever…seen DEBS.

    As a post-breakup movie, would you recommend?

    (Asking anyone)

      • I MEAN IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR NON-CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRL TYPES, BUT IT’S CAMPY AND HAS A HAPPY ENDING, AND HAVE YOU SEEN THE EYEBROWS!?!?!?

          • Amanda, I am 100% loving your enthusiasm here, and I am totally renting DEBS tonight.

    • A few years ago after a particularly hard breakup and about a month of mostly sadness/devastation/nothingness, a lovely and wise queer lady friend recommended watching DEBs and Imagine Me and You. Actually, she told me to do this way earlier but I didn’t listen. Anyway, I finally did, and they were both wonderful! I cried like a lot a lot because I was /very/ emotionally unstable, BUT I also laughed and, for like the first time after a month, felt some tingling in my downstairs business. So, you know, as @zeetwentysix put it so eloquently:
      YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES DOUBLE TRIPLE QUADRUPLE YES

    • Bella

      OK so yes, def watch DEBS as a breakup movie, im gonna do that tonight actually. Also Imagine Me and You, Nina’s Heavenly Delights (terrible movie but so comforting and tiny scottish lesbians in an indian cooking competition and owning their own restaurant), and I Can’t Think Straight.

  25. Ugh all the JBrew gifs are making me realize that I wish I wasn’t sharing the living room with Laneia tonight. SORRY LANEIA

  26. BB

    Pretty much the entirety of my dating life has been an attempt to find Lucy Diamond. Which is sad on many levels.

    But she’s just.so.hot.

    That side smirk… Swoon!

  27. I love this movie. I used to watch it whenever I wanted a pick me up. The soundtrack is pretty cool too.

    Oh, and Jordana Brewster and Jimmi Simpson (I had to look him up) lip syncing to Erasure gets me laughing every time.

  28. KM

    OMG. This movie takes me back to better times. Some of my favorite movies came out in the late 90s/early 2000s.

  29. Bella

    you guys i had this movie on my ipod and i watched it every single day on the way to school, and then during lunch, and then during my free hour, and then on the way home, until i finished it. every few weeks i would alternate it out with Nina’s Heavenly Delights and I Can’t Think Straight. did it as long as i had an ipod, before i got my iphone. oh the gay 13-14 year old memories…

    • Bella

      i even had a little wrist strap for my ipod nano that i wore while watching the movie and aggressively ignoring all the other kids on the bus

    • Zahra

      Yes! I actually remember watching the short at a gay and lesbian film festival (so long ago we other letters weren’t included!) in a large auditorium absolutely packed with women, and the joy in the room was incredible! I don’t think we’d ever seen campy comedy for us.

  30. in the immortal words of my namesake “I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”

    Lucy Diamond = ultimate babe… even if she does want to blow up my homeland!

  31. “Oooh Baby, pleeeeaaaasseee….”
    Stil on my playlist.
    Makes me smile every single time it comes on.

    Do you guys think there’s a baby gay out there and the only lesbian movie/show she’s ever watched has been D.E.B.S.?
    Like, no Tara Maclay, no Lost and Delirious…
    Her best friend (who she was secretly in love with, of course) just came up to her when she quietly confessed that she was gay, and she gave her that movie in a show of support, and so that little lesbian never ever watched anything lesbian related until she grew up and went to college and graduated from college and seeing a pretty girl only made her think of this movie and it just made her giddy and happy and all smiles all the time.
    I mean, there are seven billion people on the planet right now, by sheer probability, that’s totally possible, right?
    Right?

  32. Charlie

    I still find myself casually thinking about Jordana Brewsters eyebrows to this day.

  33. I would have never seen this if not for LOGO. By age 16 i’d never watched like, Star Wars or Indiana Jones or whatever, but damnit if I hadn’t seen a respectable amount of lesbian movies

  34. EL

    Saw it a month ago for the first time, best movie recommendation I’ve ever had! Why aren’t there more movies like D.E.B.S., I wonder

  35. What kind of terrible people are we that we let Rachel and Yvonne wait so long to see this movie for the first time???

    Jordana Brewster is the master of heart-melting facial expressions.

    This brings back so many memories. The loveliest of English gayboys made sure I saw this way back in 2007 when I had just come out. The soundtrack! The sidekicks! Max! The happy ending! Everything. <3

  36. Y’all idk the aesthetic here is not really doing it for me re: this movie

    Can we pretend blue eyeshadow never happened

  37. Sigh I just wish the cheap easy stereotypes of “French” characters weren’t a thing, it would truly make this movie perfect. But it annoys me so much especially because the actress isn’t even French :(

    • I always took the “French” character as just another part of it being a spy movie spoof where everything is intentionally ridiculous and exaggerated. Like the “Russian assassin”.

  38. This was the first film I ever watched as a baby gay, and so became my standard for all gay media. If it doesn’t have tiny plaid skirts, Jordana Brewster and a musical montage then what’s the point?

  39. Miriam

    I was an Orthodox Jew when me and my best friend watched this movie for the first time. It was probably one of the best moments in my childhood.

  40. This is the best movie I’ve ever seen and I watch it at least twice a year. The first time I saw it was with the GSA at my high school; about ten minutes in we started playing a drinking game (with soda) where we drank every time there was incongruously implausible high tech paired with something very low tech. We ended up infinitely grateful we were only drinking soda because we probably would have ended up with alcohol poisoning otherwise :P

    Also re: 5 – I would totally watch that movie. And re: 9, I would not be willing because although the sight would be glorious, I am 98% sure she would not miss and those are not odds I want to play with.

  41. Lena

    This movie is great even after watching it the 100th time. You can still find some little new details like the license plate of Lucys car that says “ndasky” wich is a hint to the song “Lucy in the Sky” by The Beatles.

    And I really love the dialog where Amy and Lucy talk about what kind of job Lucy would have taken if she had not been a super villain and she answers “I wanted to be a pirate”. She looks like a puppy.

    Maybe an interesting fact is that there was a shortfilm in 2003 that was kind of the first try of D.E.B.S.
    here is a link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337953/?ref_=nv_sr_2
    but thank god that they changed the cast between the 2003 and 2004 movie!

  42. I’ve never seen this movie, but dangit now I want to. Also:

    9. Would you be willing to let Meagan Good shoot at you with a gun IF before doing so she also strutted towards you wearing a plaid skirt. Explain your answer.

    Answer: *mesmerized* Gun? What gun? *dead*

  43. My friend and I have a drinking game to this movie. We used to watch it about once every two months because it was the best thing ever. The rules are pretty simple:

    1. Any time there’s a ridiculous spy gadget
    2. Any time you realize they are really bad spies
    3. Any time you are so turned on by Lucy Diamond, you can’t do anything but drink (like the whole bar scene)

    GLBTQ+ and straights all love rule 3. Lucy Diamond should be its own sexuality.

  44. I haven’t watched this since I was gearing up to come out and mysteriously watching every lesbian movie I could get my paws on but I love how it has a happy ending!

    *trips over the incredibly low bar set for gay films*

    • I’m gonna get up on my Lesbian Soapbox for a second and tell you every movie, even the awful ones, even the ‘so bad their good again’ B-movies have something of value to offer, dig for the gold dust, it’s in there.

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