I watched this with a group of people a couple months ago. I read the play last year, but I forgot a lot of it although I know I laughed aloud while reading it.
Algie is my favorite (I think he was my favorite in the play too or I liked him more than I thought I would; I am one of those main character loyalty people); oh, my I just loved his goofy facial expressions. I just do not think that Colin Firth acts at all well. This is the third film in which I have seen him act, and he just does not seem totally different in any of his roles, but maybe I am being too picky. He is just not very animated.
Cicely was funny and her clothes were pretty; her simplicity and naivety were hilarious and nice. Gwendolyn had a pretty outfit or two, but I did not like her character (I do not think I liked her much in the book either); she was a bit of diva.
The kissing was uncomfortably close to making-out, and the filmmakers added a weird tattooing issue into the plot which was totally bizarre especially regarding the social class and time period involved (I think that sailors still monopolized that market at that point in history).