Knowing JR's passion for the subject, I think he got a little caught up in this one. He is a critic and that can happen you know. I like the story, the actors, the set design which in includes great detail, even the script has great moments and in-jokes. What I felt lack luster was the direction, PB just could not make the story come alive and give the proper sympathy to the characters.
From reading his stuff over the past few years, Rosenbaum - although he's my favorite film critic - has a tendency to overrate very conventional formal aspects (direction, photography) if he likes the story, the premise, the actors, or the director. Case in point: Small Soldiers
, a cleverly conceived but ultimately pretty flat satire (and it ain't for kids, either: if I was a kid, I would think it was pretty lame) that he used as a platform to genuflect in the direction of Joe Dante, and (with the help of his shopping list of reasons to dislike of Dante's former mentor, Steven Spielberg) to slam Saving Private Ryan
I have to admit that I'm interested in checking out The Cat's Meow
, but it doesn't look like I'll be missing anything spectacular if I wait for the DVD.