Ideal Home review: Paul and Steve Coogan are partners charged with raising a ten-year-old boy in this quirky indie comedy.

Ideal Home review by Awais Irfan, June 2018.

Ideal Home review
Ideal Home review

At this point in time, both Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd are alums of the Edinburgh Film Festival – the former seeming to have a film here every year; the latter’s quirky indies have had a big presence at the fest over the past couple of years too. It’s only fitting they come together for Ideal Home.

Paul (Paul Rudd) is a big-time producer, and Erasmus (Steve Coogan) is his muse and partner of 10 years – a pompous chef heading the show Paul produces. Their relationship is tricky, full of constant upset and bickering between the pair; however, when a boy (Jack Gore) arrives at the door of their grand mansion claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson, the couple find themselves reluctantly taking on the role of parents to help raise this troubled child and maybe rekindle their love in the process.

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Ideal Home is a simplistic film in its nature – we’ve seen it all a million times before: the reluctant, egotistical step-in parent learning to love etc. Except, where this differs and stands out from the crowd is in the pure heart and joy embedded within the screenplay that just radiates on screen. This film is an absolute, unwavering delight to watch from start to finish. It’s not perfect (we’ll get to that in just a minute) but it’s a film that takes the familiar recipe and makes a dish that, despite the fact we’ve tasted it before, is just so delicious. For starters, the performances are expectedly terrific; Rudd and Coogan are two of the best comedians out there and they work so well off one another. They have such charismatic screen presence and the chemistry is superb. Gore, too, is a fun addition into the mix as the quirky, troubled child and his obsession with Taco Bell.

Ideal Home review
Ideal Home review

It’s a very funny film too. The humour is superb and is sprinkled throughout very well, seasoning this very well to the point it’s consistently comedic and never feels too lacking for too long; it’s refreshing to see a comedy not so focused on low-brow humour as well (it’s certainly there, but it’s done well) and the screenplay relishes in the awkwardness of the “being dumped with a child you didn’t know existed” situation and the eccentricity of the characters given this. The film isn’t always funny though and there a fair few jokes that don’t land; instead, they usually come off as quite clunky and cringe-worthy and will have you clenching your teeth at the poor timing/comedy. For the most part, though, it’s a very hilarious piece; there’s lots of charm within the story and characters too and it’s welcomingly warm and heartfelt when it’s not trying to be funny. The emotion doesn’t always land and the pacing can feel clunky; despite this, Ideal Home is a lot of fun. It’s charming, hilarious and anchored by a powerhouse trio in Coogan, Rudd and Gore.

Ideal Home review by Awais Irfan, June 2018.

Ideal Home was reviewed at the 2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Ideal Home