Monday, 9 July 2018

Ideal Home: Film Review

Ideal Home: Film Review

Cast: Steve Coogan, Paul Rudd, Jack Gore, Kate Walsh
Director: Andrew Fleming

An intriguing look at what family means in the 21st Century, Andrew Fleming's Ideal Home can be summed up by its last line.
Ideal Home: Film Review

Exhausted and perhaps a touch exasperated after all that comes to pass, Paul Rudd's character Paul can be heard flippantly shouting - "Oh great,a f***ing rainbow", before the credits roll, bringing up shots of same sex couples and their offspring.

It's a meshing of tones that never quite fully gels for Ideal Home, with the story of how bickering gay couple Erasmus (Coogan, in a flamboyant and camp mode) and Paul (Rudd, the relative centre and expert of the withering put down) end up with 10 year old Bill.

Jack Gore's Bill's told to go live with his grandfather Erasmus when the police bust his father in a motel - with tragedy in Bill's past, and with Erasmus not talking to his son, things are off to a tough start when he shows up unexpectedly.

Initially pushing back on the lack of boundaries set by Erasmus who caves to Bill's demands, Paul's more resistant, after initially not wanting a child in their relationship.
Ideal Home: Film Review

But as these films are wont to do, a bond between the three grows, and Erasmus and Paul learn from Bill being part of their life.

That's the thing with Ideal Home, it's not a new concept and it wears some of that influence without shame on its occasionally laugh-out-loud funny journey.

As mentioned previously, Rudd is the stand out here - as opposed to Coogan's somewhat flighty and flamboyant monster Erasmus. With a heart and humanity, Rudd anchors Paul as the centre of the family, while never losing out the chance to toss off a throwaway line when it's needed.

Unfortunately, Ideal Home unravels a little in its third and final act as a series of narrative speed bumps are introduced for nothing more than dramatic purpose, leading to the resolution feeling rushed and a little disjointed. Certainly the emotional edge that's meant to be inserted by proceedings feels a little flawed, despite everyone's efforts to the contrary.
Ideal Home: Film Review

Equally, some of Bill's initial antagonisms over living with Erasmus and Paul are glossed over, having been hinted at early on - and the social worker intervention (from Alison Pill's character) is put on the back burner in favour of some sight gags.

It's this uneasy mix of uncertainty which slightly cripples Ideal Home, and which thwarts its noble intentions and which means ultimately, in the final strait, the film fumbles its premise and promise.

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