Video Review

Scenes From a Mall (1991)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Movie Rated: R; Genre: Comedy; With: Woody Allen and Bette Midler; Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

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+

Originally posted Aug 16, 1991 Published in issue #79 Aug 16, 1991 Order article reprints