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Ted

Ted

What She said:

She

Where to start, where to start, where to start.  Anyone else remember Teddy Ruxpin?  Ooooo, my sister and I used to love ours.  I mean, a teddy bear that actually talks?  It doesn’t get better than that.  And John Bennett knows this all too well.  When we has a kid he received a teddy bear for Christmas and made a wish that it would be his best friend forever.  That wish came true, and the next day John woke up to find that he had a real live walking and talking Teddy. 

Of course, if you were ever to compare Ted to Teddy Ruxpin, he would straight up slap you.  Ted is not the warm and comforting story teller that Ruxpin is.  In fact, he’s quite obscene.  He’s more like John’s bro.  His leech of a bro, who does nothing but eat, drink, and smoke weed.  Voiced by Seth MacFarlane, you can tell from the outset that Ted is trouble.  He’s funny, but also a very bad influence on the now 35 year old John (Mark Wahlberg), and John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) has had enough of it.  Lori is a super catch for John, who works at a car rental place and is barely skirting by there.  She’s a VP of a company and pretty much carrying him along.  Finally, Lori offers John an ultimatum, and John is forced to decide his true allegiance—friend from childhood who may never grow up, or the love of his life.

My description makes this movie sound a lot more serious than it is.  Let’s remember, it’s Seth MacFarlane voicing Ted.  This is a comedy, although a very offensive one at times.  There’s not much that’s off limits in their jokes.  For me, that affected how much I enjoyed the film.  Some jokes were absolute hits.  Others just rubbed me the wrong way.  The movie also lags a little in the middle, although the ending, albeit predictable, was quite enjoyable.  Part of the joy of this movie is seeing Mark Wahlberg play a comedic role.  I still haven’t gotten used to it yet, and so this movie and The Other Guys benefitted from the shock value of Wahlberg’s funny side. 

I’m going to make a loose comparison between Ted and The 40 Year Old Virgin because I want to point out that this type of a vulgar-comedy-with-a-heart can, in circumstances, work exceptionally well.  Ted had some deeper meaning, but the problem was that both Ted and John as characters weren’t likable enough for you to want to see them grow.  You sort of just wanted to befriend them.  In contrast, Andy from The 40 Year Old Virgin was so innocent and likable, you couldn’t help rooting for him.

That’s not to say that Ted is a bad movie.  Overall, I did enjoy it.  But it wasn’t as clean or consistent as it could have been and suffered because of this.

Thumbs half up.

Ted

 

What he said:

He

It might not have been a teddy bear, but just about everyone had a favorite stuffed animal growing up. I think mine was diaper dog. Never heard of him? That’s because I made him up. He was a stuffed dog that for some reason I put a diaper and cape on. Well whatever yours was, imagine it came to life and grew up with you, almost like a roommate who doesn’t contribute to anything. That’s exactly what happens to John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg). John was a lonely kid with no friends. When he gets a teddy bear for Christmas, it becomes his best friend. One night, he makes a wish and the next day the bear comes to life. The two are inseparable from that point forward.

This causes a problem with John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis). You see, John spends most of his time drinking beer, getting high, and watching TV with Ted (voice by Seth McFarlane). John isn’t much of a career man – which doesn’t really bother Lori – but when he can’t even manage to be on time for his job at the rental car agency because he has a hangover, it starts to bother her. She is the bread winner of the relationship and seems to be ok with that. She doesn’t really care that John isn’t raking in the bucks. But she just wants him to grow up a little. That and she thinks Ted is a bad influence on him. Ted contribute towards the bills and generally shits up the joint. He’s also known to bring the occasional hooker (or 2, 3, or 4) home, and that’s not the kind of thing you want to see on your couch when you get home from a hard day’s work. She finally lays down the law and tells John that Ted has to go.

For the first time in his fuzzy little life, Ted is forced to fend for himself. Things seem rough at first – his apartment is a dump – but he starts to progress. He gets a job, girlfriend, and seems to be one of the more popular people in his building. John just can’t stay away from his best bud though, and some of the problems with Lori arise again. It’s not that she forbids him from seeing Ted, but when he goes over to Ted’s during lunch, after work, and even one night when they’re supposed to be together at one of her work functions, she loses it. Can he win her back?

Ted was a generally funny movie. It was quite raunchy at times, which I don’t mind, but there were a couple of times it got creepy. Giovanni Ribisi’s character and his son were not doing anything for me at all. I just wasn’t feeling that whole angle. Mark Wahlberg is a pretty funny guy. I actually like him better in comedies than his more serious work. Seth MacFarlane did pretty good with his first big-screen adventure. I think American Dad is hilarious, but can’t stand Family Guy. Most of the jokes were funny, but there were times I was reminded of Family Guy, which isn’t a good thing for me. It takes a joke and just keeps going until it gets old, which I saw with a few jokes in this movie. Overall though, if you like raunchy comedies, I’d recommend it. Don’t watch it with your parents though.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 19, 2012.