Ted (7/1/12)

Movie One Hundred Fifty Three

Ted is a film about a boy that whose wish comes true that his stuffed teddy bear was his real friend…Even 25 years later.

One Christmas morning, young John Bennett opens up an adorable teddy bear as a gift and later wishes that Teddy was real so the two could be best friends. When he wakes up the next morning, he finds his wish came true, much to the horror of his parents. News of Ted sets the media world on fire, but he soon finds himself out of the limelight and Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and John (Mark Wahlberg) are still best friends. John’s girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), has come to grips with John and Ted’s friendship, but finds her own patience dwindling as John must learn to grow up.

It’s hard to write a plot synopsis about Ted without it sounding like a Hallmark channel special, but perhaps that is some of the magic behind the absolutely crass humor found in Ted. MacFarlane, best known for his animated TV series Family Guy, has been able to stretch his comedic legs and offer his unique sense of style and humor for a live-action full-length feature. For the most part, Ted works on a movie level and a comedic one.

I will be the first to admit that when I first heard about Ted I cringed and rolled my eyes thinking that it looked like a steaming pile. I figured that it would end up being a 90 minute Family Guy episode totally devoid of humor but tries really hard to nail it. While the film is unabashedly stupid, it uses that stupidity in a smart way. The style of humor isn’t for everyone, but it’s safe to say that you can set your notions of what to expect based on MacFarlane’s TV series aside. Ted is its own unique entity and is impressively funny and charming.

Two things that I didn’t think worked in Ted were the antagonists. Joel McHale plays Lori’s sexually harassing boss who continually tries to ask her out and the other is Giovanni Ribisi as a creepy guy that tries to steal/kidnap Ted. It’s hard to imagine the film without both antagonists, but in addition to the antagonistic breakdown of Lori and John’s relationship, it’s almost too much.

When I find a comedy worthwhile enough to see in the theater, I’m usually hugely impressed at the time but when I see it again on DVD I scratch my head and wonder why I thought the film was so funny. The verdict from future me is still out, but for now, I will say that Ted was a huge surprise that had my face hurting from laughter.

I give it 4 Flash Gordons out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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27 responses to “Ted (7/1/12)

  1. I have to say, while I found this movie funnier than most Family Guy episodes – it was the exact same format as every single Family Guy episode. Which, in that sense, I’d rather just watch a Family Guy movie.

    • Yeah, there were a few times when I thought the jokes were originally written for Family Guy but I just haven’t found that show very likable since it came back on the air. The first 3 seasons are golden, though.

  2. I agree the antagonists were the only glaring faults. They simply made no sense in the context of the story. Well, McHale’s did, but his personality didn’t. Glad you enjoyed it. I was laughing pretty hard throughout

  3. Surprised by how much I laughed my pants off during this because I’m not a huge fan of Family Guy, but somehow, a lot of the humor just clicked for me. MacFarlane is definitely a director to watch when it comes to making R-rated comedies. Nice review Andy.

  4. I don’t really like Family Guy, but have had my interest boosted for the movie from your review. I guess I might see it now. Nice review.

  5. i was afraid it would be a one-joke movie with a contrived plot, but then i realized that it’s probably not possible to avoid that. and even so, it can still be funny and totally worth seeing.

    as for “the family guy,” it literally almost killed me once when i saw something so funny that i could not breathe. i had just gotten out of the shower, was still naked, and choking trying to breathe. the absurdity of the possibility of being found naked and dead only made the situation even funnier. i’m sure i turned purple, and i’m sure i wasn’t without oxygen as long as i imagined it, but it was still a funny-stupid situation in a motel in nowhere, florida about 7 years ago.

  6. Everyone I personally know who has seen this has told me to skip it. I’m talking 9 different people! Yet it’s a huge box office hit and critical reviews are on the whole, positive. I have decided to see this anyway so I’m happy to see your glowing (and well written) review. Thanks!

    • Well, I hope you like it, Mark!
      The humor in this is maybe more subjective than your typical comedy film just because it can be offensive to some. There were folks in the theater I was in that left after about 20 minutes but the people that stayed were laughing almost non-stop. It seems to be a movie you find repulsive or hilarious, haven’t seen much in-between.

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