I don’t have too much to say about Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s big screen effort. In the end, if you enjoy Family Guy, you’ll probably enjoy Ted. Luckily, I do so I did.
Filled with fart jokes and bizarre sexual humor (nothing like the mental image of a teddy bear dry humping a woman on produce), Ted is about what happens when a boy really really doesn’t want to grow up. And has a living teddy bear to help stunt him along the way. The opening, narrated by MacFarlane regular – and Shakepearan actor – Patrick Stewart, is coarse and foul mouthed and funny, and sets the tone for the rest of the film.
Plus who doesn’t enjoy hearing curse words come out of Captain Picard’s mouth?
Basic plot: John is a lonely kid, the sort of kid who wishes he could get beaten up like the neighborhood Jewish kid, who receives a giant teddy bear for Christmas and makes a wish that said teddy could really talk and be his friend. And lo, it’s a Christmas miracle and Ted is born. After a bout of celebrity including a trip to the seat next to Carson, people forget about Ted.
Except of course for his good friend John (Mark Wahlberg being the most Boston he can), who brings Ted (voiced by MacFarlane himself) with him when he moves in with his girlfriend, Mila Kunis doing the very best she can with a poorly sketched role. Kunis’s Lori wants John to grow up and move their relationship forward, which of course would involve giving up Ted.
Will John grow up and leave Ted behind? Will Lori and John ever figure it out? Will Giovanni Ribisi’s super super creepy father who wants Ted for his own super super creepy son get his hands on the bear? None of the answers to these questions will be remotely surprising.
But you don’t see a movie like this to be surprised. You see it to laugh. And as I said, there are a lot of laughs here. Some make you feel embarrassed, some are just guffaws, and some are very very loud groans. There is a long arc and utterly ridiculous involving Sam Jones, the star 80’s shlockfest Flash Gordon.
I remember seeing Flash Gordon in the theaters and loving it, so I had some very positive memories around Mr. Jones. Not sure if those in the theater who didn’t even know that movie existed got the joke. And for those of you not aware of this epic piece of filmmaking…
The music by Queen really sells it.
You will also never think of Tiffany’s cover of I Think We’re Alone Now the same way again. Or without nightmares.
In the end, this is a silly movie that doesn’t say that much about growing up and leaving behind childish things as I think it wants to. But there is something inherently funny about a teddy bear who talks like Peter Griffin, is deathly afraid of thunder, smokes copious amounts of weed, and like to bang hookers. Or at least there is to me.
Side note: Please please please DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO THIS MOVIE. When I went there were more than a couple of little kids in the theater. People — this is a rated-R movie. And that’s a hard R. Think about how much you want your child learning about sexual deviance and every bad word you can think of before their time. Just think about it.