In an inspired piece of casting, pairing Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd as a bickering gay couple is Ideal Home’s bright spark. The two veteran actors bring their impeccable comedic timing to the roles of Erasmus (Coogan), a TV chef with an inflated ego, and his TV director partner Paul (Rudd) who spend their days on set together trading snippy remarks. After all, they say you shouldn’t mix work with pleasure.
The two find their lives uprooted when Erasmus’ ten-year old grandson arrives at their door looking to stay in their custody. The message soon becomes clear for these two estranged lovers: If they can learn to love the boy maybe they can learn to love each other again?
Directed by Andrew Fleming, who previously directed Coogan in the musical comedy Hamlet 2, Ideal Home is genuine but never preachy in its depiction of a gay couple bringing up a child. The film prioritises humour over offering any real insight into the challenges of parenthood with two fathers. Besides, it’s not hard to surmise from the synopsis alone where the story is heading and it’s the humour that makes the film when the story lets up.
Luckily Coogan and Rudd are genuinely funny and they share real romantic chemistry allowing the film to tap into a fountain full of humour and heart. Packed with witty one-liners, the film is consistently funny. In one scene, after offering alcohol to a man who responds that he’s sober, Paul retorts, “I’m also sober but I’m planning to do something about it.” If you’re in the mood for a laugh, Ideal Home is an ideal piece of light entertainment.