For the majority it was quite a cracking story. The leads' accents had nice English tones and though the language was a little too cliched at times (Kitty's reliance on cliche aside: "The idea that any women should marry any Tom, Dick or Harry regardless of her own feelings is simply prehistoric." - it serves to show her for the self indulgant lass she is), somewhat on the nose at others "It was silly of us to look for qualities in each other we might've never had"; could all have been shaken up and taken a little more seriously. How much work would it have required to take those lines and rework them to say the same thing a different way... without jarring?
And of course, the moment when Charlie Townsend says:
She was sold into slavery. Condemned to a life of drudgery and despair in a strange land far from home. See the chains? They represent the heavy bondage of her poor, trapped soul from which there is no escape, and so she weeps. She weeps for the lively, vivacious girl she once was, the lonely woman she has become... and most of all... she weeps for the love she'll never feel, for the love she'll never give.... is far too on the nose to be anything but distracting - even more so when he admits he just made it up. But, then, that gives us the foreshadowing that he'll let Kitty down, and for when Waddington admits Charlie has done it many a time.
All that aside, it works. And the moment at which they finally arrive in the village where the main action takes place and they meet Waddington is brilliant (I've tried and failed to find the script so that I can share it with you). You really get a sense then that Walter is making Kitty pay for what she's done.
When I track down the script I will share these bits, because they are great "show" moments, through dialogue.
Anyhoo, my wife didn't want to watch it, but when she came in 45 minutes from the start, told me how she thought it would end (she was right), and then sobbed, I think she quite liked it too. Although I suppose eliciting emotion from the audience is mutually exclusive from getting them to enjoy it.