August 7, 2003 - The City Web


Reviewed by Candace Gray

Directed by: Michele Maher

Starring: David Thornton, Katie MacNichol, Saundra Santiago, Jerry Grayson, Juan Carlos Hernandez

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence, language and sexual references

TheCityWeb Rating: MATINEE

Runtime: 87 minutes

    A hilarious send-up of the fashion industry, GARMENTO can be appreciated by anyone who has held a job. If you don't believe me, visit the website which offers immediate shock and laughter. Garmento is an industry term which means someone who's ruthless in business, and that's what the characters who populate Poncho Ramirez, Inc. are.
    For years Poncho had been a household fashion name, with young women spending big dollars for the privilege of wearing the Poncho label. But changing times and bad design decisions (I refer you again to the website) have brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy. During a brainstorming session, starry-eyed newcomer Grindy Malone (MacNichol) makes a suggestion that Poncho (Hernandez) jumps at. Soon the money is rolling in again, the stars in Grindy's eyes are replaced by dollar signs, and garmento fever overtakes everyone's judgment.
    GARMENTO is Maher's first feature film and is based on her experiences in the fashion industry. Rather than creating flat caricatures, she gave her characters dimension, a feat which bodes well for many more well-crafted film from her. Many of the actors are people you'll recognize but probably won't be able to place. No matter, they are all excellent here and clearly are having a great time with their characters. All in all, the movie provides a delicious and hilarious view of the seamy side of fashion.