My childhood was void of a teddy bear. Instead, I was comforted by a wooden caribou hand carved in the Philippines. It wasn’t really cuddly, but I did find security and friendship in the fine piece of woodwork that laid next to me in my bed. I could only imagine what that thing would say if it could talk. I would be even more curious to see how it would act as it grew up with me like the cuddly and crass title character in Ted.
The movie is directed, produced, written by, and stars Seth MacFarlane, the engineer of the popular inappropriate comedy Family Guy. So if you watch that show then you should know what you are in for with this flick. Mark Wahlberg stars as John Bennett, an average Joe type of a guy who works at a car rental place and has a smokin’ hot girlfriend in the form of Mila Kunis (there’s a MacFarlane connection here: she’s the voice of Meg Griffin in Family Guy). Next to his girl, his best bud is Ted, a teddy bear that came to life when he was a friendless little boy. He wished for it and it happened. The whole world was fine with it because it is totally normal to have a talking bear walking around doing human stuff. It’s also so adorable!
When it comes down to it, the movie is about three things:
1.) The trials and tribulations of having a bro-friend
2.) The trials and tribulations of having long term girlfriend
3.) Flash Gordon
If you strip away the talking bear element (although why would you want to?), the movie is kind of heartwarming. It greatly illustrates that moment in time when two bros realize that their lives are taking different directions and that not everything will be the same forever — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It shows growth and maturity. Also, Flash Gordon plays a major role in this movie (yes, the real Sam J. Jones makes a generous cameo).
In any matter, all of this story nonsense doesn’t matter. The real girth of the movie is the raunchy, low brow, lewd, nasty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty humor that is sewed into the dialogue patch-by-patch like a quilt with questionable white stains on it. This makes the movie what it is. It wouldn’t be a work by MacFarlane if it didn’t have a couple of genital jokes, a random shit-on-the-floor moment, pornographic sex gags, gay quips, trashy hookers, and good humored racism. But not all of the humor is like that. There is one glorious moment when a creepy Ted-obsessed character named Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) is gyrating to a video of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” in a self-pleasuring kind of way. And although Ribisi’s kidnapping subplot is pretty worthless, this one scene succeeds in making me laugh and feel uncomfortable simultaneously. Anything that does that gets at least half a gold star in my book.
The movie does entertain as it is slathered with the vulgarity of four Family Guy episodes, but that’s pretty much it — but I like that sort of thing. Sure, the movie does seem to lose some traction towards the end but anything that can skewer pop culture and offend as many ethnicities, races, genders, religions and sexual orientations as possible is always an inspirational touchstone for me…and I hope it can be for you too!
Ted opens in theaters today.