20 LGBTQIA+ stories with upbeat endings

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16. D.E.B.S.

There is no denying that D.E.B.S. is plenty silly. It certainly isn’t a critical darling, given that its approval rating is just below 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. But, just like there can be gay comedies and LGBTQIA+ thrillers, there are also fun, affirming queer B-movies. There’s no shame in enjoying something lighthearted and only partially thought out, at least when it comes to a weekend afternoon movie.

This 2004 film follows four students as they are about to graduate from a top-secret academy called — you guessed it — D.E.B.S. That’s short for Discipline, Energy, Beauty and Strength, in case you were wondering just labored that acronym was going to be.

The story (and its predecessor, a 2003 short film of the same name) focuses on Janet, Dominique, Amy and Max. They’re all pretty tough, though Amy struggles with the notion of being an international spy and secret agent. That’s pretty tough, especially since Amy is a top student at the academy with some serious intellectual credentials.

It all becomes even more complicated with the group encounters Lucy Diamond, a criminal par excellence who has just recently come back into the spotlight. The students are sent to collect information about Lucy, especially relevant since Amy wrote a thesis about the villain.

Eventually, Amy and Lucy meet and have a meet-cute of sorts in a storage room, where Amy learns that her nemesis is a lesbian. That’s surprising, but perhaps not quite as surprising as the sudden feelings that Amy develops in return. Some of her teammates are unnerved by the hints that Amy herself isn’t straight. In the end, however, international criminal protocol and garden-variety homophobia are no match for the chemistry between Amy and Lucy.