Ted is a brilliant concept, but I needed more to love from this teddy bear. It’s got a great buddy movie premise. Two pot smoking, slacker, 30-something pals are best of friends. Along comes a girl and one of them must choose between his old fun life and what could be his new grown up life. Except in this case, one of the buddies is a live Teddy Bear.
Mark Wahlberg is John, who’s dating Lori (Mila Kunis) and remains best friends with Ted (Seth McFarlane.) John has to decide whether advance his relationship with Lori, and how his childhood teddy bear can fit in.
You quickly get past the fact that the bear is accepted as normal in society. McFarlane is so good a bringing voices to life, you forget that it’s a bear that’s interfacing with humans. A great concept, but where do you go from there? You give the bear a Boston sized attitude and a mouth that begs to be washed out with soap.
The Boston backdrop allows for some fun with accents and personalities, but the body of this movie is lacking comedy. The over the top anti PC one-liners are entertaining. The Jason Bourne style fight between an athletic man and a two foot teddy bear is amusing. The laughs largely come through Ted’s dialogue.
If you took out the drugs, language and some of the bad behavior, you actually have a pretty solid kid’s movie here. Something along the lines of A Christmas Story. Apologies to any parents out there. Don’t take the kids to this one, it earns the hard R Rating. There’s some light adventure, there’s jokes and there’s a cute fuzzy stuffed animal. It’s got heart.
I think Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane is a genuine comedic talent. He consistently brings the funny, but it’s usually on TV in a 22 minute format. There were portions of Ted that made me laugh out loud, like when Ted’s irreverently bad behavior somehow gets him ahead at his grocery job. There were scenes that I just watched with a smile, and then there was the other hour and half.
Small note to Flash Gordon fans, (are there any out there?) The homage paid to the sci-fi film seemed offset by an irreverent party scene involving a lot of drugs. It seemed a bit out of place.