Ted: My Review
Ted is a movie written, dirrected and starring Seth McFarlane the creator of the animated series Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland Show. So if you enjoy, like I do, this type of irreverant humor along with the cultural satire that accompanies these shows, then Ted will be a movie I think you will enjoy.
Synopsis: A young boy, John Bennett, recieves a teddy bear one Christmas and he makes a wish that his new friend would come to life. His wish is granted much to the horror of his parents! Well, a talking teddy bear is a news worthy story and soon Ted gains a small amount of fame and notoriety and appears on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Soon the attention and notoriety fades and Ted and Johnny grow into adulthood…well, sort of.
John, played by Mark Wahlberg, is in love with Lori, played by Mila Kunis and one of the biggest problems in their relationship is Ted. Ted and John act like 15 year old adolescent stoners. In order for their relationship to continue Lori wants Ted to move out. Ted struggles to find his way in the world. He works at a supermarket and even gets a human girlfriend but the pull between life long pals is strong and Ted and John keep falling into mischief. After a party, where Ted and John meet their childhood idol, Sam Jones, the star of the 1980 cult classic, Flash Gordon, John and Lori part ways only to be reunited when Ted is kidnapped by a father-son duo that had had their eyes on Ted for a long time.
I don’t like to give too many spoilers in my reviews incase people have not seen the movie. So I will leave the synopsis at. Suffice it to say the movie does have a happy ending.
Pros: First of all I like this type of humor. I do like satire that refferences the popular culture. Saturday Night Live used to be the bastion of such humor but now that torch is being carried by Seth McFarlane and his work. Ted weaves these cultural refferences naturally and they never are contrived. Ted is a likable character even though he is a foul mouthed teddy bear. He gets away with saying things that would be very obnoxious and offensive if they were said by a human character. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis also have good chemistry together. Their characters are also likable. Each character runs the risk of being unlikable. John, with his irresponibility and neglect of his girlfriend, runs the risk of being a jerk. Lori, being unempathetic toward John over his care for Ted, could have come across as cold and indifferent. However, each actor allows the viewer to have empathy for all of the characters and that is what makes Ted work.
Cons: The problem with comedy is that it seems, at least from this writers opinion, to be one of the most personal and subjective style of art. Sometimes comedy can fall into the trap of being over the top for laughs and this is a minor flaw with Ted. In other words, Ted falls into zany silliness that seems out of control at times. The party with Sam Jones seems like it is just trying too hard for laughs and that is the key moment the movie devolves into silliness for a while. The side story of the father-son duo wanting to kidnap Ted just sems out of place in the story. There could have been other plot devices that could have put Ted in danger in order for John and Lori to be reunited. In anotherwise upbeat and charming story this subplot brings some undesired creepiness. The movie is narrated at the beginning and end by Patrick Stewart and his small part really is very funny and worth the price of admission alone.
Despite the little uneveness in places, Ted is full of laughs and heart tugging charm. The story really is at its best when it shows its heart. I really would like to see more adventures of Ted, Jon & Lori and hopefully Seth can deliver another winner to our theaters!