Erasmus Brumble (Steve Coogan) is a celebrity chef and television personality who hosts as cooking show primarily directed by his husband, Paul (Paul Rudd). Despite their antagonistic relationship on (and off) set, they've been together for a decade, but the cracks in their foundation are getting bigger.
When Erasmus' estranged grandson Bill (Jack Gore) shows up, Erasmus and Paul's strained relationship is put to the test — if they can't provide the kid a suitable living environment, he'll become subject to the foster care system.
Ideal Home provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Erasmus and Paul are called in by Bill's teacher after Bill reads a controversial report containing gay slurs out loud to his class. Both of them are in hysterics as they read the same report.
- Bi the Way: Erasmus had a "bi phase" in his younger years, which resulted in a child who would become Bill's father.
- But Not Too Gay: Averted. Erasmus and Paul are not only seen kissing, but interrupted mid-coitus at one point also.
- The Cameo: Kate Walsh and Chopped's Alex Guarnaschelli make brief appearances as two of Erasmus and Paul's friends.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Paul with Erasmus. The former is shown to get annoyed with the latter's antics several times but still sticks by him nevertheless.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Tino, the attractive young gay man living with the gay couple whose relationship is going through a rough patch.
- Embarrassing First Name: Bill hates being called Angel, and picks a new name for himself the opportunity he's given one.
- From the Mouths of Babes: In one scene Bill reads a report he wrote aloud to his class. It starts off relatively normal, describing his lifestyle with Erasmus and Paul, until he starts reading slurs that you should never say to people, including the "f*ggot", "c*cksucker", and "buttfucking".
- Gay Cowboy: As citizens of Santa Fe, Erasmus and Paul both embody this aesthetic to varying degrees. Erasmus' show is Southwest-inspired, while Paul is often seen wearing denim and —at one point— a cowboy hat.
- No Antagonist: Bill's dad is a bad father, but he does genuinely love his son, and he's more a lost soul than a bad person. Likewise, Bill is realistically rough-around-the-edges for a kid who's had an unstable home life, but he's not a devil child. The other characters who present problems for the three leads are all presented as people rather villains, and aside from Bill throwing some slurs around at the beginning, there's no homophobia in the film.
- Straight Gay: Paul isn't particularly flamboyant or obviously "gay".
- Upper-Class Twit: Erasmus comes off as being this.
- The Voiceless: Bill starts off this way, refusing to say much about himself or even tell Erasmus and Paul his name.
- They Really Do Love Each Other: Paul and Erasmus are often shown to be at odds with each other but still know and care about each other inside out. Even when Erasmus has taken Tino as a lover and Paul takes a job offered to him in New York to get away from him, Paul sees an image of Erasmus that he criticized earlier in the movie at the airport in New York, realizes he misses Erasmus and goes back to Santa Fe to be with him. Afterward, the two of them go out for a romantic dinner and dance with each other.
- On a platonic note, Bill doesn't get off to a great start with either Erasmus or Paul, but by the end of the movie, it's clear he's developed a strong parent-child bond with both of them.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Bill's birth name is Angel, given to him by his mother because she loved angels. Erasmus and Paul have this reaction upon learning it.