Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1991. Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV. Screenplay by Paul Mazursky, Roger L. Simon. Cinematography by Fred Murphy. Produced by Paul Mazursky. Music by Marc Shaiman. Production Design by Pato Guzman. Costume Design by Albert Wolsky. Film Editing by Stuart H. Pappé.
Paul Mazursky continues to make humorous reinterpretations of famous foreign films, here taking Ingmar Bergman’s somber Scenes From A Marriage and setting it in sunny California. Bickering couple Bette Midler and Woody Allen hash it out in that suburban mecca, the shopping mall, on the day of their anniversary, and the happy twosome have gone to the shopping centre to pick up some things before the big party they’re planning on throwing for their friends that evening. Deep conversations lead to deep revelations, which soon lead to fights, then making up, then more fights as they go back and forth between marriage and divorce before making their final decision. Midler is at her manic best and Allen at his most loveably nebbishy, but Mazursky never finds enough interesting material to keep them busy or the audience from becoming bored. There are pockets of humour and moments of intelligence, but nothing that gels together well enough to keep it from seeming totally shallow.
2 thoughts on “Scenes From A Mall (1991)”
I didn’t realise that it was based on the Bergman film. I am presently working through all of Woody’s films in 2013 as part of a Woodython. I haven’t reached this one yet!
VERY loosely inspired by it, not nearly as direct an adaptation as Down and Out In Beverly Hills was of Renoir. And it’s only Woody in that he appears in it, so if you’re sticking only to canon, you won’t harm yourself by missing it. On the other hand, it’s FASCINATING to see him in California.