Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ted Extends the Fun of Family Guy into a Live Action, Implausible, Film

Ted (3 out of 5 Stars)
Directed by Seth MacFarlene (Family Guy)
Written by Seth MacFarlene, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild 
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Seth MacFarlene

I am avid fan of Family Guy, and although its brand of humor is off putting to many I think creator Seth MacFarlene has pushed the envelope and made a creative television series.  As of late the show has become more stale, and even MacFarlene himself would say that the Griffin family has done what they needed to do, but the show is a juggernaut, and helped his film become the highest grossing film at the box office this weekend.  Ted is able to the put the R rated spin on MacFarlene's humor, and that let's the film spread its wings and be itself, mindless fun.

Ted is about a young boy named John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) who is unpopular and as Patrick Stewart narrates even someone the Jewish boys make fun of.  On Christmas John gets a Teddy bear, and with bear he finds a new best friend, and wishes for it to be real.  When John wakes up he finds that Ted has come to life and he runs to tell his parents, with one of my favorite cameos being Alex Borstein (his mom) that Ted has come to life.  Ted runs into the room, and rightfully so freaks out his parents, but they soon realize their son has found a new friend, and let him have his toy.  They also have him do the talk show circuit.  As the years pass by Ted and John remain friends, and never seem to grow up.  In the meantime John meets Lori (Mila Kunis) they are four years into their relationship, and looking to move forward, but a grown man with a teddy bear for a best friend is not an easy thing to deal with.

Ted is irreverent, crude, mindless, pointless, lacks depth, much like most of MacFarlene's other work, and yet it is similarly hilarious.  MacFarlene knows what he is doing; he knows his audience, and how to create something that is meant to be exactly what its supposed to be.  Ted does not pretend to be anything other than a mind numbing comedy, and I say way to go.  I thought the film was entertaining, and I laughed a lot.  Wahlberg and Kunis have great chemistry, Marky Mark is pretty damn hilarious, and should do more comedy; he was so great in I Heart Huckabees too.  Yet MacFarlene steals the show off and on screen; he does the voice for Ted, and is hilarious, he even makes fun of the fact that his voice does not sound like Peter Griffin.  

The film is no masterpiece and has a lot of flaws, but in a film like this flaws are not the point.  The film is meant to be fun, and that exactly what Ted is.  MacFarlene knows funny, and Ted is one of the funnier movies I have seen this year, all I have to say is do not do a sequel or a television show.

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