Agutter plays Ann, whose fiancee has just been shipped off to America. Things between herself and her departing beau are strained, and when she happens to meet a playwright named William (Sam Waterston), he (for reasons unbeknownst to me, not illustrated in the film) manages to charm her off her feet. The only problem is that William has charmed several women off their feet in his time, and hasn't bothered to stop on her account. As the movie progresses, the number of other girlfriends, wives and lovers begin to stack up, almost as fast as the viewer's patience will disappear.
Having seen her in several films, I know for a fact that Jenny Agutter is a charming actress with a bit of British edge that only increases her appeal, and even having to go off of Sweet William, her co-star Waterston seems pleasant enough. However, it's not so much that there's no chemistry between Ann and William and more that there's no reason for the audience to care about them as a couple. William sprints in, all smiles, and Agutter sells how smitten she is, but so what? Neither character is given sufficient time to develop, and since knowing the plot means knowing they're both cheaters, there's no reason to want them to live happily ever after.
Not that they ever could. Even if the viewer had a vested interest in the bonds that tie Ann and William, the film quickly devolves into a series of increasingly painful scenes where Agutter realizes that William is still seeing one of his other trysts. It's heartbreaking in a psychotic way to watch Ann's life crumbling around her for the sake of an insane person's idea of lighthearted comedy (as the film is being sold, at least in this DVD presentation). With each new reveal, William looks more like an asshole, and Ann looks more like a deluded idiot. What wonderful protagonists!
In case this still sounds somewhat appealing, the film also has a running subplot about Ann's mother (Daphne Oxenford) and her disapproval of Ann's real fiance. In order to sustain this completely uninteresting and basically irrelevant side thread, the film sends Ann on a 20 minute vacation in the country, away from William and the movie's central story, allowing her some time to think about her situation. A tip to all directors considering tones for their romantic comedies: alternating between agonizing and boring is not reccomended.
The Video and Audio
Dolby Digital 2.0 sounds better than the picture looks, but the score comes across as tinny and on the whole dialogue is "acceptably audible" as opposed to crystal clear. No subtitles or captions are provided.