They say brevity is the soul of wit. Unfortunately this is one of those films that reminds us of that. It also sharpens our appreciation for just how much of the TV show's appeal came from its deft, rapier-like precision. From really tightly written dialogue and spot-on editing.
Of course, whenever a half-hour show gets extrapolated into a full length movie, the central issue the creators must struggle with is almost always the same: what works very well in half an hour minus commercial breaks rarely works out so well in a full length movie. The writers must choose between sticking with the tried and tested formula, and so almost inevitably producing mediocrity, or alternatively, taking some very real creative risks with the way they approach and structure the entire piece.
In this case...
Let's just say they chose not to take those risks.
When watching this movie there were times where I really felt as if I were watching a scene from the TV series played out in slow motion. In a typical episode the TV show communicated more in one minute than the film would in ten. There were other times when the film simply dragged, even to the point where it was just plain boring. To be fair, it wasn't all like this. There were times in the film, mainly around the middle, where I genuinely got caught up in the characters, the world they inhabited, and what they were doing. It's just that there were also plenty of times when I didn't. Given that this film came in at over two and a quarter hours, I can't help but feel that it would've benefited from some more proactive editing. It's almost as if, having lived so long under the tyranny of the 22 minute half hour, the writers and editors never developed the ability to impose discipline from within.
On the plus side, this film is beautiful simply to look at. And it's impossible for me to say a single bad word about the actors. Or for that matter about the "behind the scenes" people who did the props, the sets, and the photography. Everything is immaculately put together. To be perfectly clear, this is not a bad movie. If you look at it simply as something to kill an afternoon while you knock back a few beers (or dare I say, cosmopolitans) then by all means go for it. You're in for an entertaining afternoon. Perhaps the mistake I made was omitting the alcohol. Just be aware that if you go in hoping for something with the wit and depth of the TV series, you are going to be disappointed.
Oh, and I personally found the ending a little trite.
Not that I'm giving away any spoilers!