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Years before we see the first shopping malls, Woody Allen has a film in
such mall. The mall was turned by him in embodiment of people's lives
and in particular, their married life. With its multiple floors,
escalators, shops, restaurants, parks, entertainment halls, organized
events for promotions and holidays, the mall has become a world of the
modern humans. But that is not the focus here, it is only the
background of the most important.
This movie is funny and crazy just as love is. Watching it, the viewer is flicking left and right, up and down, should laugh, gladden, be sad, excited and put in position to be doubted in his own situation and maybe to remember and compare it with what is already there. The metaphors of floors and stores with different emotions that they bring, the spiral parking, escalators which symbolize the development of a love affair with all the positive and negative feelings that brings.
What I am saying is messy too, as is the movie - it has everything. If you're a fan of what is written here, watch this movie and you will feel truly alive, at least for a while.
Even though the movie is pretty much everything that Woody Allen is not, it's still somewhat enjoyable to see him paired with the amazing Bette Midler. The story is interesting to say the very least: it's their anniversary, and Nick (Allen) decides to share a secret. It so happens that they are located in a mall, and the drama is surrounded and contrasted by hundreds of neons, stores, billboards, colors, and excitement. In the midst of all this, a life shared for years is crumbling down, as Nick is not the only one with a secret. The movie, being interesting as it is, has its flaws. The dynamic between Deb (Midler) and Nick is sometimes unbearable as it shifts drastically from one side to another. They are both on two separate rollercoasters, and it's can be annoying. Perhaps the most charming feature is its never-ending symbolism. Every little thing can be interpreted as many different things in the movie, and I don't think the movie should be taken in as it is. There are many interesting aspects in the movie, and as always, Woody Allen delivers with his almost-there-over-the-top performance. All in all, it's probably not the easiest and not the best thing Allen has been a part of, but it's still worth it to see him yelling and talking about sex...because it always is.
I'm a big Woody Allen fan, so naturally I got a sufficient amount of laughs
from the film (though he didn't write the script). But the movie plays out
like a stage play, and perhaps it would've worked better that way--like any
movie that centers solely on 2 characters. Allen and Midler have a fine
chemistry, and their banter is often amusing. But the infidelity thing
seemed to have been thrown in as a simple way to develop some sort of plot
and some sort of conflict. Are they gonna break up for good? Are they
gonna decide to stay together? Those who've seen films like these won't
have a tough time figuring the outcome.
"Scenes from a Mall" is funny, harmless entertainment, but not exactly a must-see.
My score: 7 (out of 10)
If you enjoy a film full of subtle one liners then this is one you must see. Allen and Midler are their best delivering on cue subtle gags which relate to our hidden fears at growing old. Sit back and enjoy and laugh especially if you're reaching that time of life.
Review: Although this movie wasn't written and directed by Woody Allen,
it still has the same concept as lot of his movies. It's basically
about a couple who are celebrating there 16th wedding anniversary and
while they are out shopping, Allen's character admits to finishing an
affair the day before. After threatening divorce, his wife also admits
to an affair so the long relationship is in turmoil whilst still
shopping in the mall. Woody Allen has definitely got something for this
troubled relationship concept, even when he hasn't written or directed
the film himself. I did enjoy the chemistry between both of the
characters and there banter was amusing in parts but the storyline was
a bit silly for me. For such a loving couple, I don't know why they
chose to tell each other such a deep secret in the mall, especially
with a dinner planned for later on that day. Anyway, it's a silly
romantic comedy which is mostly based in the mall, hence the title,
which goes a bit over the top after a while.
Round-Up: Well, I have now completed my Woody Allen season and it really does feel like I have watched a really long film based around troubled relationships and infidelity, with a New York backdrop. None of his earlier projects are anywhere near Blue Jasmine, which is also based around a troubled relationship but it's Cate Blanchett that made that movie brilliant. Most of the movies with Mia Farrow were quite dull but the films with Diane Keaton were much better. He's not the most versatile writers/directors and his comedy is warped and not that humorous but I'm sure that he entertains a certain type of audience, which I'm certainly not a part of.
Budget: $3million Worldwide Gross: $10million
I recommend this movie to people who are into there Woody Allen movies about a couple who are celebrating there 16th anniversary and admit to infidelity whilst shopping in a mall. 3/10
Everyone's making a big deal about Woody's ponytail (which does look ridiculous); but the most unbelievable aspect of his character is his age. At one point in the film, he says he would not get married at 24 and the couple are celebrating their 16th anniversary. If my math is correct, that would make him 40 and he was 54 when the film was released - and looks older than that. Plus, since Midler is 9 years younger; that would mean she was 15 when they married. Just saying... Also, this mall is supposed to be in Beverly Hills (like the Beverly Center) but it offers ballroom dancing and restaurants specializing in caviar. All of this, plus the artificial dialogue, bugs me and makes the movie very unrealistic.
Woody Allen with a pony tail.
Need I say more.
Allen is a gifted filmmaker. I am currently trawling his oeuvre, and to be fair there has not been a film I couldn't watch (although Interiors did tax me) This is better than most actors bad films, and has a nice premise, moving in and out of a divorce as infidelities are admitted.
It has Bette Midler. It is one of her better films (The Rose apart, that is not saying much, and I love Bette Midler's music) However, whenever I see this film, I look at Woody's pony tail and wonder why he does films like this.
Still, nice colours, annoying mime, surprisingly little product placement, so worth a watch on a quiet Sunday
Aside from the greatness that is inherent in its two stars, Bette and
Woody, this movie is depressingly bad. I watched it with my mouth open
in disgust at how awful it is.
Woody's little stump of a ponytail made every shot positively nauseating. As did the fluorescent lighting (that's what you get for setting an entire movie in a mall in 1991). The "sex scenes" (one in the bedroom and one in a cinema with other people shushing them) are probably the most sickening I have ever seen - and completely unnecessary.
The plot is pointless - a perfect marriage breaks up then gets back together then breaks up then gets back together then they bicker ... etc. It is nauseating also, the way the characters pendulum between emotions.
Do not watch this movie. Not even out of curiosity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well-regarded director Paul Mazursky's one joke film, "Scenes From a
Mall", is a hopeless going nowhere comedy that only succeeds in making
one yawn. The unoriginal, predictable script from Mazursky and
co-writer Roger L. Simon manages but a few laughs, while the unlikely
characters fail to generate any sympathy.
This is not a memorable performance from the Divine Miss 'M' either, and while Woody Allen does okay, neither one of them create believable characters. Obviously Woody is better doing his own brand of dry, observational humour while Bette Midler has been better in dozens of other movies. Give this "scene" a miss!
Saturday, February 22, 1992 - Video
Allen and Bette Milder play a couple visiting a shopping mall on their 16th
wedding anniversary. They confront each other's infidelity and then they
This is an effective vehicle for Allen and Midler who go well together. In their grotesque sex scene you do not know whom to feel more sorry for. Director Paul Mazursky's plot is fairly mechanical and predictable but it is a good conceit to have virtually the entire film take place in a shopping mall.
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