Michael Sauter
August 16, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Scenes From a Mall

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
89 minutes
performer
Woody Allen, Bette Midler, Bill Irwin
director
Paul Mazursky
Producers
Touchstone Pictures
distributor
Buena Vista Pictures
author
Paul Mazursky, Roger L. Simon
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C+

Bette Midler and Woody Allen make such a perfectly odd couple that casting them together in Scenes From a Mall, a marital seriocomedy, seems inspired. Sending them to a crowded mall for some private moments is a pretty good idea too. Yet director-cowriter Paul Mazursky hasn’t done much with his cast and material beyond just letting them wander around.

The two stars play happily married L.A. professionals (she’s a shrink, he’s a lawyer) who discover they aren’t so happy during a day at the mall on their 16th wedding anniversary. Surrounded by shoppers, they exchange confessions of adultery, break up, make up — then do it all again. But as the story starts repeating itself, the sharp dialogue stops. The result is a prolonged vignette that pales beside his other marriage-and-modern-life movies such as ”Down and Out in Beverly Hills.” C+

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