In a weird combination of a dysfunctional gay couple raising a child and the hilarious, set the joke up and let it smoulder style of humour, Ideal Home is an absolute heart-warming hoot.
Bill’s been sent to go live with his estranged Grandfather and famous TV Chef Erasmus, because his Dad Beau is taken to jail. Full of anger and milking every aspect of having a clueless Celebrity Chef and his boyfriend producer Paul look after him, Bill starts acting up. Finally, with a firm but caring hand from Paul, Bill opens up and they start to enjoy this weird circumstance and lifestyle.
Beau is let out of jail early and ends up taking Bill away in the middle of the night. However, after a horrible car accident Bill moves back in with Erasmus and Paul to carry on what had become a happy little family. During this time, it isn’t all smiles and happy faces as Erasmus and Paul have a falling out and Paul moves away. It’s this move that make the two realise just how much they need each other and how Bill was the missing piece.
Here’s the catch with Ideal Home. It’s funny, there’s no way that a Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan film could be anything other. They both come from strong character driven comedic backgrounds. But it’s that classic British humour where the joke is set up by one person only to be knocked out of the park by another. It’s over the top, playing an eccentric gay man will make that easy. But when you aren’t laughing there’s these really long drawn out filler scenes.
While it does feel drawn out, these filler scenes are beautiful. The location for the film is based in Santa Fe in New Mexico, USA. It has that Mexican feel with the outback American pinch. Erasmus and Paul have an absolute stunning home, made a great deal better by the views surrounding it. The rolling hills, the deserts and all its beauty with those earthy Mexican tones of browns, reds and yellows.
Steve Coogan (The Trip, Alan Partridge, Philomena) plays an over the top camp gay man all too easily as his character Erasmus. But in classic Coogan style it’s hard to see any level of commitment to the character. Coogan is more interested in making sure the joke lands than the viewers emotions getting tickled.
Paul Rudd (Ant Man, Anchorman, I Love You Man) is ever the eclectic actor settling into his character of the same name rather comfortably. Compared to Coogan, Rudd managed to bring not only a humorous element but also a depth to the drama-comedy. Navigating his way through a turbulent relationship, the possibility of a new job and now having to raise a child, there’s a rollercoaster of emotions going on that Rudd manages to capture rather naturally.
While Ideal Home is completely unrealistic, it’s fun, funny and at time heartbreaking and warming. There are some absolute laugh out loud moments, like when Erasmus is called to his grandson’s school to speak with the teacher. And to defend himself questioned the teachers use of the word “felching” written in the classroom, it was felting.
Overall, it’s a wonderful story, albeit far-fetched. It’ll make you laugh, make you wish you had a cooking show and absolutely make you fall in love with this trio as they navigate their greatly complicated new life. It’s long and some of the jokes are poor efforts at getting a laugh, but in the end it all balances out and makes for a bit of fun.