Schlesinger shoe-horns many of the taboos of early sixties England into two hours – adultary, divorce, homosexuality, promiscuity, lascivious Europeans, all topped with a good dose of greed. This all happens against a backdrop of solidly upper middle class characters, as opposed to the then emerging pop culture that was being driven by the talents of working class and lower middle class artists. Schlesinger was making the point that the upper middle classes had been cocking a snook at the establishment for years whilst the majority of people had had to toe the moral line,
The kind of behaviour represented in the film is now common place for the “Hello!” generation, and it was the kind of lifestyle that was emerging from dull post-war Britain as the young upwardly mobile youth discarded the shackles of 1950s morality. Darling was Schlesinger’s sideswipe at the hypocrisy of a fading establishment – the decadence that was once the privilege of the few was now becoming the right of the majority, and Schlesinger was making the point the Establishment could no longer see themselves as being beyond reproach. The chickens had finally come home to roost.