"in bringing to the screen these caricature of contemporary concepts, Ideal Home is playing a bold move"
When looking for a film to just have a laugh and spend two hours without having to think about anything at all, Ideal Home can be considered the perfect film, if one is oblivious to the contemporary social and cultural reports.
TV chef Erasmus Brumble is living his best life in his mansion in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is successful both professionally and personally and lives a happy life with his director and long time partner Paul. The days are filled with recording his culinary TV show, partying and bickering with the crew and his lover.
However, the peace is disrupted when a child drops unannounced in his house with a letter. The kid is his nephew and Erasmus has to take care of him while his estranged son is in jail. Both Erasmus and Paul are not ready to be fathers and their lifestyle is not child safe.
While trying to figure out how to take care of Angel, they both learn how difficult, but also rewarding it is to be parents. The concept behind Ideal Home has already been portrayed in countless movies. This is another one of those comedies that is just made to entertain while still trying to push the audience to reflect on controversial cultural and social matters.
In the film, homosexuality, adoptions for gay couples and cultural appropriation are portrayed, however, they are showcased in exaggerated tones, almost like a pantomime for the reality. The main characters and their lifestyle embody what straight people think gay couple lives and love.
Erasmus and Paul are flamboyant, at times excessive and they find pleasure in fighting with each other. They love to be irreverent and have a collection of porn that is locked in plain view, and with the lock key attached to the door.
Their parties are always fun and filled with alcohol. The director and screen writer clearly painted the perfect picture of a stereotype and, although, Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan are a brilliant duo and their comedy timing is sometimes well delivered, both of them are not so believable as a gay couple in love. They seem to try too hard at playing their parts and the acting is too present throughout the movie, making the relationship between Erasmus and Paul a bit forced.
Moreover, pantomime is also used to describe cultural appropriation, an issue that ever so often Western culture gets accused of. Living in Santa Fe, Mexican culture surrounds them. Erasmus and his program completely try to represent the idea of Mexico through the kitchen. However, even in this case, it gets portrayed like white society sees it: full with colours, with too many knickknacks decorating the table and with a sombrero ever present in every scenario.
In bringing to the screen these caricature of contemporary concepts, Ideal Home is playing a bold move. By walking the fine line between comedy and offensive pantomime, the film can be easily misunderstood for being another misrepresentation of the gay community and could become less entertaining.
To a superficial eye, it is really easy to fall into the idea that Ideal Home is trying to be just another funny comedy by using all the crass and irreverent jokes. By taking this road, there is a risk to either offend the audience or actually carrying the point across. And Ideal Home isn't always capable of successfully delivering the message across.
In wanting to create awareness on such sensitive subjects by using comedy, Ideal Home’s humour is far too tacky and childish to even attempt and give justice to the LGBTQ community during such difficult times.