I'll echo what others have said: wanting to have Kirk meet Picard was the main flaw of the premise of "Generations" from which everything else more or less descends.
The contrivances and twists that are performed to execute this create many of the problems with the film. Add to this the underwhelming threat of the Nexus and Soran (Malcolm McDowell was almost wasted here) and the underused Duras sisters (who I agree would have been better had they been working with/for Tomalak and the Romulans, if they really must be used at all) and you end up with a film that is underwhelming and on a certain level just does not make sense.
said earlier, if you wanted the two crews to meet, "Yesterday's Enterprise" was the story to do it with. Seeing that it had already been done, I think including Kirk and company was simply a poor choice. If you wanted to tie the film to TOS somehow and keep the "Generations" title, then come up with a villain who logically was created by the actions of the TOS crew, or the aftermath thereof.
The things that are good about the film, for me at least, primarily stem from outgrowths of what had already been established on TNG. I guess the best direction for Star Trek VII, for me at least, would have been having it not be "Generations" at all.