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'Garmento' doesn't have any style

Not only is the subject tired but so are the movie's stereotypes and attempts at satire.

October 03, 2003|Kevin Thomas | Times Staff Writer

"Garmento" has nothing going for it. First-time writer-director Michele Maher spent three years working in Manhattan's fashion industry as a junior designer and regards her exposure of its cutthroat and corrupt excesses as a revelation when it's actually old news. Worse, her attempts at satire are feeble and trite, and her stereotypical characters are without interest.

The fashion house of Poncho Ramirez Inc. is in trouble. The temperamental Ramirez (Juan Carlos Hernandez) has gambled that the average American male would buy briefs padded to give him a John C. Holmes profile and has lost, badly.

Ramirez Chief Executive Ronnie Grossman (David Thornton) hires a new assistant Grindy Malone (Katie MacNichol), who suggests that Ramirez recoup by returning to what made him a household name in the first place: designer jeans.

Why didn't anyone else on Ramirez's cranky staff think of that? At any rate, Grindy's purportedly brilliant idea is a go, but it means that, given the company's dire financial straits, Ronnie is forced to team with a shady manufacturer (Jerry Grayson) of schlocky jeans to launch Poncho's new line. Unsurprisingly, skulduggery and folly ensue.

The cast comprises seasoned New York professionals, but they're stuck in tedious, one-dimensional roles; only Thornton has a chance to express some complexity as the beleaguered beleagured Grossman. "Garmento" could use padding itself.



MPAA rating: Unrated

Times guidelines: Language

David Thornton...Ronnie Grossman

Katie MacNichol...Grindy Malone

Jerry Grayson...Ira Gold

Saundra Santiago...Franca Fortuna

A Spanish Moss presentation. Writer-producer-director Michele Maher. Cinematographer Mark Schwartzbard. Editor Andrew Malenda. Music Ed Tomney. Costumes Amy Westcott. Production designer Henry Dunn. Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes.

Exclusively at the Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 474-6869.

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