“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of “Ted.” In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish… and has refused to leave his side ever since.
Going in, I knew that Ted was a movie that would be over the top. This was being directed by Seth MacFarlane, after all. When you add in the fact that the premise requires you to believe that a teddy bear is alive and fully accepted in society, things get even more convoluted. Because I went into the movie with these things in mind up front, I fully enjoyed Ted for all of its insanity. A movie like Ted has to be bought into fully to really get the humor. You can’t get bogged down with things like reality or else you will miss the joke. Whatever the case, Ted is a movie that should be seen by anyone that can handle crass humor and accept it coming from a living, breathing stuffed animal.
Ted starts out as a lovable trip back in time with John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear. John is a cute little kid that wishes that his teddy bear could come to life and never leave his side. Low and behold, the wish is answered and the bear springs to life. For an eight year old, that is the best news ever. When Ted and John grow up it is not always so good. Especially when the bear has developed into your typical buddy that likes to swear, chase women and get high. The two are as close as friends can get, and the world has accepted Ted, but John’s girlfriend is not feeling so hot about his priorities.
John Bennett has a girlfriend named Lori (The stunning Mila Kunis) and he has been dating her for four years. She is okay with the bear for the most part, but she wants John to begin showing signs of growing up. This inevitably leads to conflict between Ted and John and Mila, and they all battle it out to find out who will end up where on the importance totem pole.
The fact that the movie is done by Seth MacFarlane lets us know up front that it is not to be taken too seriously. The guy is known for his out there type of humor and Ted delivers that in copious amounts. It is a bit disarming to see these insults and lines delivered by a cozy teddy bear, but the humor is mostly kept intact. If you are a fan of Family Guy, then you will like Ted. If you don’t care for Family Guy, then you will probably feel similarly about Ted as well. The movie depends on low-brow humor and raunch to both shock us and make us laugh.
Kunis is one of the highlights of the film with a very nice job of playing the straight gal. Her beauty on the screen is more than enough to lighten up any flick, and Ted is no exception. The only thing that was wrong about Mila is that there was not enough of her.
The movie plays sort of like a modern-day, refuse to grow up, eighties flick. These were churned out in the eighties but none of them were ever done with a live action teddy bear that was crude and totally politically incorrect with every sentence. That wild card is what MacFarlane counts on as the unique hook for Ted and that is exactly why it works as you watch the movie.
Ted is a fun-filled movie that was never meant to be taken too serious, so if you go in with that in mind you will love it. Though it is loaded with gratuitous language and sexual overtones, the movie is exactly what is was created to be…..ingeniously funny.