Movie Reviews

Ideal Home – A Delightful Surprise

I think I only want to see the gay dad, dad beard version of Paul Rudd from now on.

Synopsis: Paul and celebrity chef Erasmus live an extravagant, self-indulgent life. When the grandson they never knew existed crashes their fancy dinner party, their lives are turned upside-down. (Brainstorm Media)

Starring: Paul Rudd, Steve Coogan, and Jake McDorman

Writer: Andrew Fleming

Director: Andrew Fleming

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 91mins

Trailer: 

Ideal Home is a true delight, in every sense of the word. This is an excellently funny and cute film that not many are not going to get the chance to see. To begin, the story here, about a couple whose lives are turned upside down by a sudden arrival, is so wonderful. This kind of story is definitely something we have seen a million times before, but the cast, direction and writing all collide in a way that executes these cliches better than most. Although this could easily have fallen into obnoxious territory, it never manages to do so, and this alone is a damn good reason to seek this one out.

It is quite easy to say the cast is the main reason this one is so great. Steve Coogan as celebrity chef Erasmus does such a brilliant job of incorporating his personal sense of humour into the role so well, and his chemistry with both his fellow leads is definitely a highlight. Paul Rudd is great as well as Paul, playing a character with a bold personality unlike many of his past performances. Perhaps the most surprising of all, child actor Jack Gore as Bill, the grandson who turns Paul and Erasmus’ lives upside down, may be the highlight amongst all involved here, and maybe even the film. Unlike most child actors, he never becomes annoying, and seeing the way he portrays the character- someone who was raised by and gained values from a drug dealer, is done incredibly well.

Director and screenwriter Andrew Fleming, known for his work on films such as Hamlet 2 and Dick, does an excellent job on crafting the story and characters here, in what will surely be a glowing highlight of his filmography. Fleming himself has said, although the idea and plot at hand here are very simple, the film ultimately took 10 years to craft, from idea to final cut. It goes without saying that this was definitely worth his time, considering the success he had in the time at stake here.

There are still a couple minor issues to be had here though. To begin, the opening act of the film is surprisingly mean spirited, and a little too much so. The way the characters address the delivering of the child won’t be necessarily agreeable for some, but the way we see the characters build off of this throughout the film does in fact make up for it. Also, the last act does drag a bit, considering the true highlight of the film is seeing the chemistry of Erasmus/Paul and Bill, and their bonding, are the best part of this film. When it becomes more about the reflection of the experience, the quality does dwindle a bit.

Aside from these minor nitpickings, Ideal Home is a really sweet and delightful film that although you may not have heard of, is definitely worth your time if you can find it. If your in the mood to stay in with the AC on this hot summer weekend, it may be worth renting this one for the discovery of it!

Score: 8/10

Follow me on twitter @daniel_azbel and on letterboxd @danthemovieman.

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