Out Now On-Demand
There's no recipe for a perfect family.
When their son lands himself in jail, a bickering gay couple is forced to take in their grandson in this comedy-drama starring Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd.
Paul (Rudd) and Erasmus' (Coogan) don't seem to get along, but their successful cooking show prevents them from breaking up. When their derelict son (Jake McDorman) heads back to jail, the grandson shows up at their door with nowhere else to go.
Rating: M Sex scenes, offensive language & drug references
In Ideal Home Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd are Erasmus and Paul, a celebrity chef and his long suffering romantic partner who live a lavish life of bickering together in Santa Fe. When Erasmus’s 10-year-old grandson arrives out of the blue, abandoned by his father, their fraught domestic bliss is turned upside down and the pair are forced to take responsibility for the child and grow to become something resembling a family unit. Do I even need to add that zany antics ensue?
Yet while much of Ideal Home’s marketing sells it on the novelty value and raunchy humour generated by the coupling of Rudd and Coogan, the actual film is significantly more earnest and sentimental than one might expect. Exploring not only the ramifications of taking in a traumatised child, the incessant bickering between Paul and Erasmus develops into a surprisingly realistic examination of a dysfunctional long term relationship while throughout the humour is undercut significantly by a score dominated by melancholy acoustic guitar.
While unexpected, however, this tendency towards the heartfelt as well as the crude actually ends up working in Ideal Home’s favour: Erasmus and Paul are absurd but also warm and compassionate; Jack Gore, as their new addition Bill, is self-possessed and sympathetic without being precocious; and, while his script is full to the brim with fellatio and anal jokes, somehow writer-director Andrew Fleming still handles the more dramatic content seriously and sensitively.
As genres go, ‘irresponsible person must for some reason raise a child’ does not tend to be particularly edifying or original but, when done well, can prove blandly enjoyable - Ideal Home hits the mark often enough to be an entertaining and sometimes even poignant watch.
The Age (Australia)
Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)