It’s a pretty simple premise. Mark Wahlberg stars as John Bennett, who at the age of 8 wished for his teddy bear to come to life and be his best friend forever. It’s all nice and dandy until John is now in his 30s and his best friend Ted is starting to drag him down. Mila Kunis stars as the girlfriend who tries to convince John that it’s time to grow up. Other supporting cast include Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar, Contraband, Saving Private Ryan) and Joel McHale (Community, The Soup).
I went into this movie expecting that it would be like a 2-hour version of The Family Guy, as this is directedand written by Seth McFarlane, in addition to providing the voice of the title character. Well, surprisingly, there was more to this movie than just that. Sure, there were plenty of pot-smoking scenes and lots of sex jokes, but there is another story here that’s the story of two friends. It’s a predictable story but you can’t help but “awww” as Ted does the simplest things.
Speaking of, Ted as a character is a magnificent accomplishment. Visually, you start to forget that Ted isn’t really there. In terms of CG effects, it’s spectacular. Everything down to the shading on him and the individual stitches is incredible. My only complaint is that McFarlane used the same voice as he does for The Family Guy‘s Peter Griffin. It got distracting.
In terms of “Is the movie funny?”, the answer is a definite yes. But if you dislike The Family Guy and that style of random pop-culture references and cuts to the random other scenarios, you may not like Ted. I laughed a lot but there were definite moments where it felt forced, like they were going for the shock and awe tactic, which might alienate some viewers.
What doesn’t work?
Surprisingly, Mila Kunis was unimpressive. It sounded like she had a cold during the whole movie, her voice was low and raspy and it was distracting (it probably doesn’t help that I’m watching That 70s Show now and her voice is high and squeaky). She also wasn’t very charismatic. Mark Wahlberg’s character is supposed to be head-over-heels for her, but I didn’t believe it.
And like I mentioned above, some of the jokes just tried too hard. The funniest jokes were those that flew under the radar and hit you by surprise. But there were some that tried too hard to be offensive or shocking that it didn’t make me chuckle, but rather made me uncomfortable because it was too much. This was rare though (for me).
Ted is a fantastic movie, both as a comedy and as a story of two friends. There are a lot of “aww” moments as well as gut-busting laughter. I teared up towards the end, as Wahlberg and Ted shared moments together. The supporting cast is spot-on, including some amazing cameos that you would not expect. If you’re into comedy that pushes the limits and is a little inappropriate, you’ll definitely like Ted. If you’re looking for a family-oriented film, check out Brave instead.