Ideal Home is one of those comedies where the title is the opposite of what we’re looking at, as gay couple Paul (Paul Rudd – hope he didn’t forget his character’s first name) and Erasmus (Steve Coogan, overplaying the camp accent) find things change unexpectedly.
They’re already at each other’s throats, as the former is a producer working on the latter’s TV chef show (called Ideal Home – although that’s just thrown in along the way, and not a major plot point), but then, a ten-year-old boy turned up on their doorstep, stating he’s the grandson of the latter.
In the former output from the two leads, Coogan has pretty much always excelled as Alan Partridge, while I’ve never *got* Rudd. I’ve always found him charmless and then him turning up as Ant-Man didn’t help that, either. So, with those two, as well as the fact that Coogan’s other work has always been rather hit or miss, this ad a tough row to hoe, but it could work…
There’s some elements of humour from the fact that both Paul and Erasmus are chalk and cheese, and how the latter likes to make posh nosh while the child would rather go to Taco Bell, but it takes around 1/3 of the film to get into it. There’s also way too many lame attempts at humour, such as the problems enrolling him in school because they take too long in asking the lad what his name is… I get that he doesn’t want to talk loads as he initially arrives, but at least give us SOME sense of plausibility.
What follows – as they attempt to get the kid away from Erasmus’ son, and deadbeat dad, Beau (Jake McDorman) – is a predictable 90 minutes where, as they argue, they’re also at odds with the child, but will they all find common ground by the end? Does night follow day?
So, beyond one or two minor giggles, I’m still waiting to laugh.
Ideal Home is a strange movie because it’s the kind of film which could attempt to build in an audience of children, as Bill comes into the plot and then we see him talk about his situation at school, but Rudd and Coogan run the whole gamut of profanity, some of which is copied by the child, and so that takes them out of the loop for watching this in the cinema. Yes, it’s airing on Sky Cinema at the same time, but when a film is given a 15-certificate, parents will want to watch this first… and they will not pass it onto their children. Then again, that will also take effect when they see the bedroom scene.
To ram the virtue-signalling feelgood message home, the end credits are peppered with pictures of same-sex couples with their children.
Ideal Home is released in cinemas from this Friday, as well as on Sky Cinema, and is released on August 20th on DVD.
Running time: 89 minutes
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Released: July 6th 2018
Director: Andrew Fleming
Producers: Maria Teresa Arida, Clark Peterson, Aaron Ryder, Maxime Rémillard and Gabrielle Tana
Screenplay: Andrew Fleming
Music: John Swihart
Paul: Paul Rudd
Erasmus: Steve Coogan
Kate: Kate Walsh
Bill: Jack Gore
Melissa: Alison Pill
Beau: Jake McDorman
Ms. Garcia: Lora Martinez-Cunningham
Crack Head Lady: Sarah Minnich
Director: Jesse Luken
Betty: Jenny Gabrielle
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.