Writ/Dir. Michele Maher
Str. David Thronton, Katie Macnichol, Saundra Santiago,
Opens June 6th at the Village East Cinemas
as Intelligent as the Subject Matter
I should probably detail some of the biases I have against
this movie, just so you can take it all with a grain of
salt. To start with, I'm standing in line, waiting to check
in at the press screening. The lovable, smiley PR girl is
sitting down with a huge list of names-- all certified B-grade
film critics, and me somewhere near the bottom. The guy
in front of me-- a strange 20-something mix of a flaming
queen and a phish head, he give his name, she crosses him
off the list, and then reaches into a bag behind her and
pulls out a huge pair of briefs. These briefs are massive,
and only appear more so due to the fact that the crotch
is heavily padded (see picture). I get to the front, give
my name, watch it get crossed off the list, and then wait.
After, like half a second I say "no underwear?"
in my mousiest whine; the girl just smiles bigger and shakes
her head. As I'm walking away I hear her say, "Here
ya go" to the man behind me, someone who would definitely
not get the joke of the huge padded briefs. I mean, come
on! I would have actually used them... I swear!
Then, to no fault of either the film makers or the PR company,
the two people in front of me at the theatre decided to
start falling asleep about 1/2 an hour into the movie. Then
about twenty minutes after that, one of them pulled a flask
form his jacket and started taking belts off it in between
dozings. I'm not sure if I found this distracting, or I
was just extremely jealous, but either way, it tainted the
movie a little.
exterior circumstances not withstanding, however, Garmento,
is a quirky, funny movie. I'm not sure if it is supposed
to be spoof of the fashion world, or a poorly disguised
retelling of true events. Either way Garmento feels like
this weird form of nostalgia powers it.
'Remember when Ralf Lauren came out with that line of 'RL'
jeans? Remember the whole heroine chic fashion movement,
or when Calvin Klein was pronounced a pedophile?'
'Uh... yeah... I guess.'
So, I might not be the right person to be reviewing this
movie. I mean in the middle of the whole jeans craze of
the mid-nineties I was busy thrifting my way through the
salvation armies and seventies vintage warehouses of Portland.
I didn't buy a pair of CK's until you could get them at
Costco's and I needed something to wear for my first watering
job; and I've never bought any RL's. I was lucky enough
to bring a girl with me who actually knew all of it, and
got all of the clever references, and subtle jabs.
Once those were explained to me the whole movie made a
lot more sense, satirically. Plot-wise there are some questionable
decisions, and character development actually manages to
move backwards, but there is a charm to Garmento that is
undeniable. The humor is rather unique, and the acting is
above the board. While perhaps pointless, Garmento is, at
least, entertaining. And isn't that what life
fashion is really all about?
Three Tasty pieces of eye candy
The boys in this one are pretty much exactly what you'd
expect coming out of a fashion industry movie. Tons of boys
in tight black get-ups all trying to look chic cool and
perfect. As an added bonus anyone who wanders around Chelsea
at all is guaranteed to spot a couple people they know or
may have slept with cameo-ing their way through Garmento.
Personally I saw two boys that I know. Steven Guareno tucked
in the back of the elevator scenes. Apparently he had been
in more scenes but was cut. And some guy I met one night
at the Roxy a few years back who never actually spoke to
me but I followed him around all night - and 'stalking'
counts as 'knowing,' don't you think?
One stupid and bizarre 'It was all just a dream!' twist
The ending... what the fuck!? I don't want to give anything
away for the five people who will read this and be like
"Oh my god! How could I NOT go see this movie!?"
It left me scratching my head wondering, "Did a nice,
trite little comedy, actually try to make some bold statement
about fate, existence, and the circular nature of the universe?
Or were they just being really, really stupid? And if they
weren't, then why? To what end?" The last pile of minutes
to the movie is bizarre in their idiocy. It would have made
more sense if they'd left the movie open for a sequel or
something. 'Garmento 2: the curse of the polyester'
Two sensibly dressed hipsters with bulging crotches
Despite not getting the free skivvies, and the ridiculously
odd ending, and the guy belting scotch in front of me, Garmento
isn't a terrible movie. There are a couple of comic devices
it uses and stays true to for the entire movie, even when
they start to feel a little old-- which only makes them
funnier in the end. It also walks the line between the absurd
and the satirical carefully and cleverly. While it's a fairly
pointless movie, Garmento is quite a lot of fun. Especially
if you actually cared about designer jeans when you were
a kid, or if you're a desperate fag in serious need of some
painfully fashionable eye-candy.