Scenes From a Mall

Year: 1991
Production Co: Silver Screen Partners IV
Director: Paul Mazursky
Producer: Paul Mazursky
Writer: Paul Mazursky
Cast: Woody Allen, Bette Midler

One images Woody Allen and Bette Midler would make ideal sparring partners, the shrill, neurotic Jew on one side and the sassy, no-nonsense girl full of verve on the other.

As first I thought Allen was simply enamoured with Midler's generous breasts back in the early nineties like he is with Scarlett Johansson's in the 21st century. So it was with some surprise I realised it wasn't even a Woody Allen movie, which explains a slight difference in tone from his own efforts.

Writer/director Mazursky has however crafted a very Allenesque premise. While shopping for their 16th anniversary, a professional couple confess several affairs during their marriage, argue, make up, and confess even more in an ever increasing spiral of anger, retribution and resolution. The comedy is smart and understated like Allen himself would do, such as the heartfelt discussion and make-up sex in the cinema showing a Bollywood film and the throughline of expensive platters of sushi that keep ending up thrown across the mall in fits of temper.

Feel free to consider it a Woody Allen film, as it appears to have been made to emulate one.

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