Certainly the film has flaws - it has too many storylines and the links between them are increasingly hard to justify. The characters all inhabit the usual Curtis world of Middle Class London that has very little basis in reality. However this does not detract from the many charms and felicities that the film has to offer.
Love is a many splendoured thing (a song not featured in the soundtrack!) and so this film shows - relationships are tricky to start and maintain - whether you are a down-at-heel waiter or Prime Minister.
Bill Nighy has to be regarded as the star of the film - his portrayal of a brutally honest faded rock icon (a cross between Jagger and Stewart) has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Emma Thompson is particularly moving as her trust in Alan Rickman is destroyed by the threatening presence of a sexually agressive secretary.
But it is unfair to single out too many of the performances for praise - certainly none deserve criticism. The film is a classic showcase for the many talented British character actors who too often are relegated to bit parts by US directors.
I was lucky enough to see this film in preview - I do urge people who enjoy smiling and laughing to give it a try. It is actually a lot better than some critics would have you believe - the cynics!