Andrew Fleming’s new comedy drama ‘Ideal Home’ is a heart-warming look at an eccentric, extravagant gay couple whose glitzy lifestyle is totally disrupted by the unexpected arrival of a long-lost grandson. The fact that both of them act like children themselves makes it particularly amusing to watch them blindly attempt to navigate their new roles as parents to a ten-year-old boy who rarely speaks, won’t tell them his name, and refuses to eat anything other than Taco Bell.
The boys blinkered approach to cuisine is a particular blow for Steve Coogan, who plays Erasmus, a hilariously egotistical celebrity chef. His long suffering partner Paul, played by Paul Rudd, simultaneously adores and resents Erasmus’s vanity and emotional immaturity. Whilst hosting a lavish dinner party at their Santa Fe home, a bewildered child claiming to be Erasmus’s grandson shows up. The pair knows that they must at least attempt to accept this new responsibility, but of course it puts an immense amount of strain on their already turbulent relationship. But of course, they grow more and more fond of the child, who decides to call himself Bill, and he teaches them a few things about themselves too.
There are several laugh-out-loud moments, especially involving Coogan’s character, one of which being a bizarre filming session for his high profile cooking show. He rides into frame on the back of a horse, dressed in full cowboy attire, chaps and all… you’ve got to chuckle. Surprisingly, Rudd and Coogan make quite a convincing couple, with their juvenile bickering again creating some of the films more amusing moments. The duo yoyo between the good-cop/bad-cop stances that all parents will be familiar with, rarely agreeing on much, apart from a particularly touching scene when they have been called into school to discuss Bill’s bad behaviour, only for them to erupt into fits of hysterical laughter.
Yes, the story line might be one that we have seen many times over the years, but the inclusion of same sex parents provides a fresher and less explored approach to this family dynamic. It may contain a few cheesy moments, a few stereotypes, but it was difficult not to fall for its charm. It’s a feel-good film, and Coogan and Rudd conjure up an unlikely chemistry and warmth together. I would recommend this film for a rainy day, it’s sure to put a smile on your face if you are willing not to take it all too seriously.
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