Ideal Home

Ideal Home

The makers of the well-meaning queer-themed dramatic-comedy "Ideal Home" are smart enough to treat their middle-aged gay characters—desperate-to-please celebrity chef Erasmus (Steve Coogan) and his crabby producer/partner Paul (Paul Rudd)—with enough sensitivity to make you want to root for them. Unfortunately, it's hard not to be disappointed by writer/director Andrew Fleming's tepid jokes about Erasmus and Paul's clueless attempts at maintaining their by-now strained relationship, and also adopting Erasmus's estranged grand-son Bill (Jack Gore), who was abandoned by his biological father/Erasmus's son. Coogan and Rudd's generally charming performances both give weight to their otherwise wisp-thin characters, but their swishy mannerisms also speak to the superficial nature of Fleming's presentation of Erasmus and Paul. All we know about these guys is that they drink, bicker, and are sad about how out of touch they feel. Also, they’re seriously loaded, which presumably explains how clueless they are. In that sense, the most radical and ostensibly funny thing about Erasmus and Paul is that they get to be openly gay and cartoonishly out-of-touch. That’s not necessarily a good look, but some may consequently find the protagonists of “Ideal Home” to be adequate in an overly precious "Will & Grace" meets "Mrs. Doubtfire" kind of way.