Don’t go into Ted thinking that this was suppose to be a Family Guy movie. Because its not, well at least not completely. Sure there are some slight nods to the popular animated series, but Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut is hilarious, full of debauchery, and heart. Hit the jump to read more.
It all starts out with a John Stewart narrating the story of how a boy named John Bennett brought life to his beloved teddy bear named Ted. Shunned by the neighborhood kids – even the kid that gets beat up – John is desperately seeking a friend. His parents realize this, so they give him a large stuff teddy bear. He kid does everything with this bear, but still wants a real social connection. So before he goes to bed, he sees a shooting star, and like every cinematic kid who sees this event happen, he makes a wish. And of course the wish comes true. For the sake of this review not containing any spoilers, how Ted is able to walk amongst us without anyone batting an eye is explained.
We flashforward 20 plus years later, and John is all grown-up, works as a rental car salesman, has a successful relationship with Lori, and is still spending time with Ted. A majority of that time is spent smoking pot and watching Flash Gordon. Lori has had it with Ted’s constant immaturity and John bailing him out, so she asks John to kick Ted out. To show how much he cares for her, he reluctantly agrees, as does Ted, surprisingly. But as the film progresses we see that some things haven’t changed. The pair is always running off getting drunk and high. John is covering for Ted, and Lori has to put up with all of this.
So off course Lori puts her foot down, and says to John this has to stop or else. As the saying goes you can’t have your cake and eat it too, and for John, he thinks he can get away with running off for another one of Ted’s wild summons. AS it turns out, that may not be as easy as he thinks.
If you are at all familiar with Family Guy and its motifs, there will be nods that will be difficult not to notice. There are cutaways and Ted makes a snark remark or two about his voice being too similar to Peter Griffin. And sometimes MacFarlane refers back to jokes previously told. All of these are the simple ingredients to make a Family Guy episode. But if you can ignore all that, then you will enjoy the film.
And that is what makes this film so hilarious, is that it is self-aware. It recognizes that all the situations and scenarios are jokes and punch lines. Wahlberg’s comedic timing is impeccable as he is able to deliver and keep up with MacFarlane’s hilarious speed, even though MacFarlane is no where to be seen, literally. All of his acting is done via CGI.
The rest of the cast (cameos included) also pull their comedic weight in the film. Kunis herself proves that she can keep up with the best, as she is able to stand alongside MacFarlane, and Wahlberg. McHale, though we don’t get to see too much of him, offers his usual great sarcastic and sleazy humor.
But comedies do have their problems, and my problem with Ted is with Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) and his son. It’s hard to understand the necessity of the character. At no point in time did Donny present an actual threat or character changing moment to John or Ted. In fact Donny’s presence in the film is hardly ever felt and at times he can be forgotten. He is just your standard, run of the mill, creepy character. He spooks you in a back alley, says very strange things, and his body language screams “stay away from me.” The way the character was handled was just very odd. In fact, the whole third act -which revolved around him, Ted, and John – provided very little to laugh at, and those final moments felt awkward and misplaced.
However, Ted is able to overcome these problems towards and manages to pull through in the clutch, providing some of the best laughs towards the end of the movie. But know this, Ted isn’t the kind of film for the faint of heart, those who are easily offended, or kids. So think twice before you purchase your ticket.
But if you are of the group that stomach disgusting humor, then prepare to laugh until it hurts, because you won’t be able to stop slapping your knee or clapping your hands throughout the entire movie.