I received Curses as a Christmas gift just three weeks ago, and I've already had some friends HATE it and others LOVE it. Here's some ideas for trying to make it a lovable game.
First "variant" suggestion is to make sure you have players who are willing to embarass themselves for a laugh and will give the game some lattitude in commanding them to act like idiots! If at all possible, you also want players who don't care about winning or losing.
Next, I highly suggest one or both of the following to speed the game forward to the point where everybody's got 3-4 curses and can't stop laughing:
Deal one Curse card to every player before starting the game.
Every turn, a player gives TWO other players a new curse.
That's it. I think it makes the game much more enjoyable.
I think starting with two curses each might be too many, especially when coupled with each player giving out curses two at a time once the game starts. Getting to choose who gets what curse is half the fun!
I have had a bad time with the Curse "keep your wrists attached to your head" - the player who tries to do this is going to wind up very tired! You may want to remove curses (or challenges) from the deck that just plain aren't going to be fun for your particular group. A group of mostly guys might choose not to include the "you are a cheerleader" card... then again that might be the most fun challenge in the deck for another group of guys!