Writer/director Michele Maher makes her feature debut with the satirical black comedy Garmento. Set in the garment district in N.Y.C. during the early '90s, fashion rookie Grindy Malone (Katie MacNichol) gets a job as an assistant to Ronnie Grossman (David Thornton), executive for Poncho Ramirez Inc. She meets the other industry players, including haughty Franca Fortuna (Saundra Santiago), assistant Rimi Stone (Gretchen Cleevely), flamboyant Jasper Judson (Jason Butler Harner), and designer Poncho Ramirez (Juan Carlos Hernandez) himself. After the company loses money from a failed line of padded men's underwear, Grindy suggests they bring back their line of jeans from the '70s. Poncho Ramirez then merges with rival Romeo Jeans, headed by the corrupt Ira Gold (Jerry Grayson) and Louie Purdaro (Matt Servitto). The successful product becomes high in demand, leading to shady business dealings and an advertising controversy. Grindy quickly loses her innocence and becomes entrenched in the world of corporate greed. … More
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Critic Reviews for Garmento
As a satire, Garmento is toothless. As a comedy, it's funny only in spurts.
This shaky satire set in New York's garment district is consistently undone by an inconsistency of tone and less-than-assured directing and acting.
Despite MacNichol's sneaky verve and Thornton's sly subtlety the lead characters swiftly fade and shrink.
Maher's feature debut has amusing moments, but falls apart as quickly as a cheap knockoff.
A toothless, dated Seventh Avenue satire with shaky script, direction and acting.
In her three years in the garment industry, Maher may have learned her way around a sewing room but she picked up nothing about a movie set.
Maher in her debut as a director/writer does a good job showing why garmento is a derogatory term for the industry that has such a checkered past.
At times, Garmento looks like the real deal, but underneath the label, it's just another designer rip-off.
Strong in dialogue and atmosphere, keeping the viewer interested in what is going to happen to these characters.
Without an assured character at its center, the movie quickly collapses in a heap of moldy clichés and contrived (and not especially funny) situations.
Despite an excellent start, great characters, and a perfect niche mood, Garmento never fully capitalizes on its potential.
Writer/director Maher has told her tale well, and the end result is a Mahogeny for the turn of the century (without the bad music or the nervous breakdowns).
What is Garmento but a lame approximation of sexier and deadlier works like Altman's The Player?
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