First there was the Australian comedy series “Wilfred” which featured a pot smoking, beer drinking, junk food eating, foul mouthed and horny pet dog, now comes “Ted”, brainchild of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, which features a pot smoking, beer junk food eating, foul mouthed and horny teddy bear. Is nothing sacred? No. Is it funny? Yes.
“TED” stars Mark Wahlberg as John, who, as a friendless child, wished himself a magical talking teddy bear, Mila Kunis as his gorgeous and successful girlfriend of four years Lori, and the man himself, Seth MacFarlane as the voice of Ted, the aforementioned teddy bear who uses his 15 minutes of fame for being a magical talking teddy bear to get down and furry with as many females as possible. If you were ever a fan of “Family Guy” humour, you will enjoy this film. The first half buzzes along with MacFarlane’s trade mark flashbacks, pop culture references, cameos and inappropriate humour. There is one scene in which Lori and John return home from their anniversary dinner that manages to be incredibly unique, side splittingly funny and disgustingly gross all at the same time. Quite an achievement. It also serves as the catalyst for Lori insisting Ted move out, and thus John must begin his quest to stop being a boy and start becoming a man.
While there are many more humorous scenes to come after this, there are really only so many places you can go with a movie about a man and his magical teddy bear, and the second half of the film demonstrates this. There is a kidnapping storyline that doesn’t really work, and there is so much focus on Ted and John that potentially funny side characters such as Patrick Warburton’s (also known as Puddy from “Seinfeld”) Guy, John’s co-worker at the car rental company, doesn’t get to show off his comedic talent nearly as much as he should, even if he gets the most memorable kiss in the whole film.
Seth MacFarlane has always been a guy’s guy, but to his credit (and no doubt influenced by Mila Kunis herself, who also plays the voice of Meg in “Family Guy”), Lori doesn’t come off as a nagging shrew, even though that is basically her character’s role – trying to coax John out of childhood and thunder nightmares, and into the real world where you can’t skip out of work to get high. She is funny, beautiful and likeable, but it would be nice to see the Girlfriend role develop beyond being the straight man in these male centred comedies at some point. Mark Wahlberg plays the clueless but adorable man child to perfection and that scene from the trailer where he lists every single white trash name he knows is just as impressive the second time around.
This is the first motion picture from the creator of “Family Guy”, and it works. There are more hits than misses, and I think we can expect a whole new generation of teenage boys (and girls) to be quoting this film in years to come. Here’s one for you: “Y’know, they’re hookers. So it’s fine.”
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The Princess Bride
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Clint's Nicolas Cage impersonation