The first time I caught an ad for Ted, I was sure that it was a joke. It just seemed like I was watching a fake commercial inside an episode of Family Guy. Eventually I realized that nobody was screwing around, so I got ready for what I knew would be a very funny film.
Ted is a talking bear, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, who lives with John (Mark Wahlberg) and Lori (Mila Kunis). John and Ted have been friends ever since John was a little kid and made a wish that his teddy bear could talk to him. Now that they’ve both grown up, Lori is having trouble getting John to act like an adult when he still has his teddy bear around. If John wants to keep his girlfriend, he’s going to have to get Ted to move out, but is Ted ready for what the world has in store for him?
It was obvious from the start how this film would turn out. It’s a 90 minute, uncensored Family Guy episode. I’m sure just about everybody on the cast of Family Guy is included here, not to mention the strange humour and odd references to pop culture that we expect from the show. They even throw in a few cutaways. Basically, if you enjoy Family Guy, you’ll enjoy Ted. It’s not all fun and games though, and the film manages to have a little heart towards the end. Even I couldn’t help but get a little misty eyed during the final scenes. Despite Ted being the most inappropriate person around, you can’t help but fall in love with the cuddly bastard. His relationship with John is also built up perfectly, so it hurts to see them have to go their separate ways. Who could know that I would care about a foul mouthed bear and his childhood friend!
It’s possible that Ted comes a little too late for Seth MacFarlane though. The novelty of Family Guy seems to be wearing off. You could tell by the laughter in the theatre who was a fan of the series and it’s off the wall humour, and who was probably hoping for something a little different. If you’ve given up on watching Family Guy, I would avoid this one because there’s no difference. I was actually hoping it would be a bit more inappropriate than the series. Around here, I let my kids watch Family Guy, something that not everybody does, but I was sure this would be a terrible idea for the kids. Except for a few moments that would never fly on television, Ted treads the same territory as the series. I wouldn’t exactly take the kids to the movies to watch it, but I’m sure it will show up on DVD in the house. I’ll just have to fast forward a few scenes.
The main cast does a great job, but it’s the supporting cast that ends up stealing the show. Cameos and bit parts from a few people that you would never imagine are the real highlights of the film. Wahlberg and Kunis play pretty straight forward roles. It’s everybody around them that seems to bring the real insanity. From a crazy drug and booze fueled party with a former star to a creepy Ted lover and his son, these are the scenes that really stand out. It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of comedies, but I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud in the theatre. I think people made their minds up about this one the second they realized that MacFarlane had something to do with it. If you’re familiar with his work, and are a fan, you know exactly what you’ll be getting. That’s exactly what I was hoping for.
Under the marquee – Will