The same could also be said for Steve Coogan. When you look at the body of work he has done in his career he has a history of people saying he is either too high brow for them or they find his work that of someone amazing.
The same could certainly be said for his new film Ideal Home. Here Coogan (Philomena) plays flamboyantly gay celebrity chef Erasmus Brumble. He lives for the excesses in life, a beautiful home, strange art and alcohol and is often at logger-heads with his long suffering boyfriend – TV producer Paul (Paul Rudd – Ant-Man).
Despite the constant bickering between each other the pair are happy with their lives, although you get the feeling there are some days that Paul just wishes that he could take off and start a new life elsewhere, but suddenly everything is turned upside down when Erasmus’s grand-son Bill (Jack Gore – Ferdinand) is suddenly forced to live them. They are simply not prepared to have a kid living with them.
Despite the simple ‘odd-couple’ premise of the film this is far from your standard mainstream comedy. Like most of Coogan’s films there is an alternative edge to this film. The humor is smart, some might say-so high brow, rather than the run of the mill sight gags and fart jokes that often pass as comedy in modern day cinema.
Written and directed by Andrew Fleming (The Craft), Ideal Home is kind of like a fine wine. It is something that you need to sit down and watch and savour. The screenplay feels like it was written for Coogan and Rudd. As Erasmus Coogan is allowed to be allowed and flamboyant, he plays up to the fact that suddenly with a kid around his character is forced to eat at places like Taco Bell while Rudd plays the type of comedic side-kick that delivers the witty one-liners that never fail to land.
There are times throughout this film where you swear that you see either Coogan or Rudd (and sometimes both at the same time) give a smile or a smirk as a gag lands suggesting that some of the comedy may have been improvised by the time. Whether that is the case or whether everything was one hundred per cent scripted doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day as an audience you are going to laugh at this film if you don’t mind your comedy a little left of centre.
The biggest surprise that most people will get with Ideal Home is the performance of Paul Rudd. To a lot of modern day cinema fans he is Ant-Man. Outside of that though Rudd has had an interesting career. He has delivered dead-pan, straight dramatic performances in brilliant films like The Perks Of Being a Wallflower and has been outrageously funny in films like Role Models. Here Rudd takes both sides of his acting career and mixes it all together. The result is that he not only matches Coogan for laughs but he often brings the more dramatic moments to life throughout the film.
If you are searching for a film at the moment that is definitely going to make you laugh then Ideal Home is certainly the film for you. Just be aware that this is a more intelligent style of comedy, so if you liked Buddy Games you may want to look elsewhere for your laugh fix.
Ideal Home is rated ‘13’ and will be opening in Phuket cinemas on the 4th February 2021.
Of note, with nothing really new coming to Thai cinemas until Feb 4, film promotion agents in Thailand have explained that they were ‘holding back’ some new releases until the rest of the world caught up with Thailand. Because Thai cinemas were not closed as long during the pandemic as cinemas in Australia and the UK, they had some films open here before they opened elsewhere.
So some new releases open on Feb 4 and there are also some re-releases opening in Phuket over the next few weeks as well, so we may have a mix of ‘new releases’ for the next month or so.
David Griffiths has been working as a film and music reviewer for over 20 years. That time has seen him work in radio, television and in print. You can follow him at www.facebook.com/subcultureentertainmentaus