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Scenes from a Mall

Paul Mazursky's 14th film as director is a cozy, insular middle-aged marital comedy that's about as deep and rewarding as a day of mall-cruising.

With:
Bette Midler Woody Allen Bill Irwin Daren Firestone Rebecca Nickels Paul Mazursky

Paul Mazursky’s 14th film as director is a cozy, insular middle-aged marital comedy that’s about as deep and rewarding as a day of mall-cruising.

Talents of Bette Midler and Woody Allen seem misspent in roles as cuddly but squabbling spouses. Pic’s title, a takeoff on Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, should be consumers’ first clue as to what’s in store.

Midler and Allen are a Hollywood Hills-dwelling twin-career couple of the 1990s. He’s a successful sports lawyer; she’s a psychologist who’s written a high-concept book on how to renew a marriage. They pack their kids off for a ski weekend and head for the Beverly Center mall to spend their 16th anniversary indulging their every whim.

Allen drops the bombshell that he’s just ended a six-month affair with a 25-year-old. Midler confesses to an ongoing affair with a Czechoslovakian colleague, played by Mazursky. These emotional storms never achieve any veracity. They seem like just another indulgence on the part of the pampered, secure spouses.

Pic shot exteriors at the Beverly Center and moved to a mall in Stamford, Conn, for two weeks of interior filming. For the remainder, a huge, two-story replica mall was constructed at Kaufman Astoria Studios, NY, and 2,600 New York extras were outfitted in LA garb.

Scenes from a Mall

Production: Touchstone/Silver Screen Partners IV. Director Paul Mazursky; Producer Paul Mazursky; Screenplay Roger L. Simon, Paul Mazursky; Camera Fred Murphy; Editor Stuart Pappe; Music Marc Shaiman; Art Director Pato Guzman

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: Bette Midler Woody Allen Bill Irwin Daren Firestone Rebecca Nickels Paul Mazursky

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