Very funny, and in an oblique way extremely faithful. It amuses me to see how we've become used to odd storytelling structures so that it's not even really an issue. (and of course, the book being adapted is proof of how long people have been confounding audiences with bass-ackward yarns).
For me, a nice surprise: some michael nyman music, early in the film. Thanks to modern technology, one cue recycled from Draughtman's Contract sounds about a million times better than it did in the earlier film.
The crowd at the Angelika was definitely a bit more mature than is usual for a friday night crowd...and as the lights came up, a gentleman sitting behind me proclaimed it 'one of the worst damn movies I've ever seen. Not one damn funny scene in the whole film.' - I 'd love to know what he was expecting. I guess he thought the book was better. (or maybe aforemention moebius-strip diegesis is more trouble than I thought!)
There is some fine artistic philosophizing wrapped up in all the low-rent humor, which for me helped sell the whole thing. Neat discussion of the value of battles and conflict in a story structure.
(via cellphone - apologies for the telegram style terseness. Full stop.)