Scenes from a Mall

Film

Comedy

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Time Out says

In this irksome comedy, set mostly in the Beverly shopping mall in LA, Allen - his first dramatic outing since The Front - plays a neurotic, pony-tailed sports lawyer, married 16 years (she says 17) to successful shrink and writer Midler. They pack off the kids, have their anniversary fuck, then proceed to discuss the secret of their success. The discussions go on all movie. We move down to the mall and all the lies come out - infidelity, hypocrisy, yawn, yawn, yawn. Ugly amounts of bucks were spent on rebuilding the mall so that cameras could swoop up and down every inch of it, ogling merchandise and fetishising every commodity as 2,000 extras pass by, trying not to gaze at the camera. Woody and Bette eat sushi, clothe themselves, waltz in the piano bar, followed around by a mime, a rap group, and a Victorian-style barber-shop quartet harmonising - it's Christmastime - 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland'. Allen's admittedly funny lines get lost in the mess, and Midler, in relatively restrained mode, fades away altogether. Thematically, the film comes over as a piss-take of Mazursky by Mazursky.
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