What You Need To Know:
SCENES FROM A MALL explores the fears, jealousies and double standards of a marriage, but the film operates from a faulty premise. Adultery destroys a marriage, not builds it up. Much of it is psycho-sexual babble. Fans of Woody Allen and Bette Midler will be disappointed.
Adultery, 15 profanities and 13 obscenities, excessive use of alcohol, sexual innuendo, partial female nudity, and copulation
Watching SCENES FROM A MALL is about a bland and dreary experience as you can get. Woody Allen and Bette Midler star as Nick, a sports attorney, and Deborah, a psychotherapist, a happily married couple who on the eve of their 16th wedding anniversary run to the local mall to pick up supplies for the celebration. The plot is very slender, that being the extent of it. The movie continues to drag along slowly as they gift shop for each other, with the viewer wondering where the jokes are.
After 16 years of marriage, both think they know a thing or two about relationships. Deborah is so self-confident about her expertise that she has written a best-selling book about commitment in the 90s. Wanting to make a clean start and renew their marriage, Nick decides to reveal that he’s just ended a 7-month affair.
Now the jokes come, but frankly, Woody’s schtick falls flat and adultery is not funny to the Lord. “Don’t you know that 75% of married couples commit adultery,” he asks his wife? “I thought we were in the other 25%,” she responds. It’s no use. Deborah, though at first understanding, explodes, is mortified and wants a divorce. Nick manages to calm her down by copulating with her in the mall theater. However, Deborah soon reveals that she has been sleeping with someone, too.
With the shoe on the other foot, the fighting, arguing, fault-finding, and petty jealousies resume once more. Somehow, by movie’s end, they get back together again, and things return to normal. That is, if you call scrapping, squabbling and quarreling normal.
SCENES FROM A MALL explores the fears, jealousies and double standards of a marriage, but if the film is supposed to demonstrate that a marriage can be made stronger by sharing intimate details from mutual infidelities, then it operates from a faulty premise. Adultery destroys a marriage, not builds it up.
Nick and Deborah discuss a lot of things in the movie, from the highs and lows of their marriage to what Mr. or Mrs. Right would look like, but much of it is psycho-sexual babble. Fans of Woody Allen and Bette Midler will be disappointed. Incidentally, the last time Woody Allen worked as an actor for hire was in 1976, in THE FRONT.