On their 16. anniversary, during a shopping stroll, the lawyer Nick Fifer confesses his wife Deborah some affairs. She goes wild and insists on a divorce. After they agreed to the dividing up of their belongings, Deborah confesses having an affair, too. Now he gets very upset and wants the divorce for his part, but the last word is not spoken yet.Written by
Thomas Manhardt <Thomas.Manhardt@wu-wien.ac.at>
Written and Performed by Passion Play See more »
unfocused comedy doesn't deliver the goods
Director Paul Mazursky is always at his best when satirizing trendy Southern California lifestyles, and he does so here from that most quintessential Southern California setting: the shopping mall, where Bette Midler and Woody Allen break up and reconcile over the afternoon of their 16th wedding anniversary. The windy script was obviously written with Allen in mind, but the New York comedian is just as clearly out of his element playing a nouveau-riche, pony-tailed attorney with a taste for sushi and frozen yogurt. The sheer novelty value of such unlikely miscasting is irresistible, especially with the typically neurotic Allen paired (for once) against a co-star as extroverted as Midler, more or less reprising her role from Mazursky's 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills' (1986). But the film never rises to the laugh-riot level expected from the talent involved: it's a claustrophobic, one-act, two-character comedy, no less thin and shallow than the LA culture it mocks, and often pointless except as a vehicle for its two bankable stars. Imagine the film with two unknown actors in the same roles, and it all but disappears off the screen.
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