Staff Pick

Ideal Home Proves You Can Love Bad People Too

By Allison Picurro

For Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan’s unhappily married couple, unexpected parenthood gives new meaning to their relationship.


Name: Ideal Home

Year/Provenance: 2018, written and directed by Andrew Fleming, the mind behind the bizarrely hilarious Hamlet 2 and the teenage witch classic The Craft.

Who You’ll Recognize: Paul Rudd, Steve Coogan, and a host of cameos, including Alison Pill, Kate Walsh and Alex Guarnaschelli

Why You Should Watch: When Ideal Home home begins (and after you pick yourself up off the floor after seeing Paul Rudd’s glorious beard), it might be easy to think you know where it’s going. Erasmus (Steve Coogan) and his husband Paul (Rudd) are the bitter, bickering couple behind a popular HGTV-esque series. Erasmus is the difficult star; Paul is the long-suffering producer perpetually threatening to leave for a job with Rachael Ray. Both are mean, biting and self-centered. Neither can understand why they’re still married — though Paul has a clue: “Part of me wants to stick around just to watch him die,” he says toward the beginning of the film.

And then… a bomb drops: Erasmus’ estranged grandson shows up on their lavishly decorated doorstep with a note from his father, who’s recently been thrown in jail. Suddenly, two people who have never been responsible for anything find themselves raising a troubled child who refuses to tell his new caretakers his name and exclusively eats Taco Bell. Although what ensues treads the fine line of crossing into family sitcom territory, Ideal Home avoids the cliches and goes deep into character development, successfully proving that even the worst people are also capable of love.

Best Line: “I’m sorry, I am mesmerized by the divergent culinary concepts at play here. Cheesy Gordita Crunch? Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme? I mean, it’s like Mexican jazz music.”

Runtime: At a cool hour and 31 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Rating: R

Genre: Comedy-drama

When to Watch: When you need something a little heartwarming, or when you need something to remind you absolutely no one is unlovable. Or when you simply want to be reminded of how well Paul Rudd is aging. (Or not aging?)

If You Liked: The quick, dry humor at play in Bored to Death and the ups-and-downs of married life portrayed in Divorce.