Every so often you come across a film that has all the right components and the possibility to be incredible only for the final product to fall at the last hurdle.
Ideal Home, starring Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan, is that type of film.
Ideal Home revolves around Erasmus Bramble, an eccentric food TV presenter and Paul Morgan, his exasperated director and real-life partner who live life on the rolling orange hills of Santa Fe. Despite their constant bickering, the pair seemingly live an idyllic life. Of course, that goes completely to shit when Erasmus’ estranged grandson Bill turns up on his doorstep after his father is locked up. The 10 year old struggles to fit in and the couple find their world turned upside. Can the trio find a way to live with one another?
I mean – I don’t mean to do a spoiler alert here – but, yeah, of course. Ideal Home certainly treads all the familiar waters and doesn’t iprove on the couple comedy genre. We’re kind of at an impasse here, aren’t we? Because whilst it’s great that bog-standard movies are coming out around all types of relationships, we certainly should be demanding better quality. What’s more irritating is that Ideal Home shows promise but falters in it’s uneven development of a premise.
It’s frustrating. Ideal Home doesn’t know what type of film it wants to be in terms of comedy. It dabbles with the usual comedy fare, some slapstick type moments, and even some right black humour. But these different parts don’t gel well, especially against the underdeveloped drama. Whilst there are some moments that work incredible, the rest simply falls flat.
The performances are completely uneven against one another. Steve Coogan is completely peacocking and fails to deliver the comedic gold he is used too. Instead of his flamboyancy feels stereotypical and doesn’t quite fit into the nature of the film. However, Paul Rudd as the more muted Paul is really good. He taps into something completely wonderful here and emotes his character greatly. Rudd flits between a man unwilling to raise a child but slowly turning and warming to Bill. Jack Gore is great as Bill and the pairing truly works.
Side note: Why hire Allison Pill for two scenes? It makes no sense.
There is material here and, in instances few and far between, it works. The sentimental elements develop greatly towards the end and cause you to care about this mismatched trio taking on a whole new adventure together. The humour doesn’t entirely work and some of the comedy moments falls very flat on familiarity.
Rudd does pull Ideal Home out of the gutter, giving it some sturdy foundations and building quite average movie.
There is a bonus credit sequence to showcase same-sex couples and that is really special. (Though it does underline exactly what could’ve been cultivated throughout the film. ((It is really sweet thought.)))
Ideal Home is out now!