Being known ostensibly for playing one character, hasn’t stopped Steve Coogan from mixing it up a little. He’s had a number of dalliances with appearances in US films, such as the Night of the Museum flicks, and more recently the dreadful drama The Dinner, opposite Richard Gere.
He’s also starred in his own US TV show, Happyish, which was rather short lived, being cancelled after one season.
What he’s managed to avoid thus far is a starring role in a US film in a comedic capacity. And unfortunately that still rings true after this poor effort.
Living in Santa Fe are Brit Erasmus (Coogan) and American Paul (Paul Rudd). They’ve been a couple for some time now and it’s beginning to show. It doesn’t help that they work together too; Erasmus fronts a TV cooking show which Paul produces.
With their relationship becoming noticeably frayed at the edges, Paul is inching closer to the door. Their world is compromised however when a ten-year-old boy (Jack Gore) turns up out of the blue during a dinner party. A note inside a bible he’s carrying informs Erasmus that he is in fact his grandson, and with his father indisposed – in jail – it’s down to him to look after him.
With neither being terribly au fait with parenthood – despite Erasmus having had a child of his own in a previous relationship - the pair slowly accept the many challenges that having a child brings.
With Coogan’s penchant for comedic characters, there must have been a moment when offered to play a homosexual character, to ramp up the camp-o-meter all the way to eleven. Coogan however, uses a surprising amount of restraint by not delivering a clichéd performance. Where the film fails from the off is in his relationship with Rudd.
Although separately they are likeable enough, there simply is no chemistry – sexual or otherwise - between Coogan and Rudd. And if there’s no real tangible love in the room between the couple, what remains is far from ideal.
They’re not entirely to blame; Andrew Fleming, who wrote and directed this mess, clearly can’t multi-task as he disappoints miserably on both fronts. All in all, it plays out like a Saturday Night Live sketch that sucks from the moment it begins, and despite all concerned with it being all too aware of this, simply can’t find a way of stopping it.
Luckily for Coogan, Alan Partridge comes to his rescue once again, with a new BBC series on the horizon, which means for him at least, there’s really no place like home. This one though is very much a no show home.