I don’t know how much of this will be an actual film review and how much of this will be a rant and rave. Ted is the first feature film from Seth MacFarlane and he also voices Ted, the bear that looks cuddly, but is actually quite crude and vulgar. MacFarlane, of course, is known from his work on Family Guy, a show I must admit has provided me with little to no laughs.
John Bennett is played by Mark Wahlberg as sort of a man-child that refuses to grow up. He would rather smoke pot all day with his teddy bear, Ted. You see, Ted is real because John grew up without any friends and wished for his teddy bear to be his best friend forever. Yes, he’s seen as a real life teddy bear that lives and breathes around town. At one point, he was a major celebrity and even appeared on the Johnny Carson show. Now, John is 35-years-old, and Ted has grown up to no longer be a cute and cuddly bear. He’s basically become a moocher and a pain in John’s rear end.
John’s girlfriend is played by the lovely Mila Kunis, who is given the thankless role of telling John to grow up. They have been dating for four years, and she wants him to grow up and leave his teddy bear behind. Yes, the all too familiar story of a boy who needs to turn into a man as his girlfriend nags him and pushes him to be an adult. This story has been done countless times in Apatow flicks and other R-rated comedies.
I must be in the minority here, as the film has received rave reviews from critics and made over 54 million dollars at the box office in its opening weekend. It’s clear that MacFarlane has an eye on what the 18-34 demographic is looking for and what they want to see. The theater crowd that I viewed the film with was laughing their asses off and had a blast with it. They were clapping when the film was over.
Three jokes in particular made me quite uncomfortable: one involving Ted telling a young child he will get kid cancer, a joke about 9/11 and Nora Jones, and Lou Gehrig's disease. Yes, almost anything can be made funny if done in a creative and unique way, look at Curb Your Enthusiasm for example. With Ted, it’s all done to get a reaction out of someone. They are not imaginative, humorous, or even remotely stimulating. They are just said to get a groan and cheap reaction out of the crowd. That’s not comedy. That’s high school humor.
Seth MacFarlane is basically saying with this film that everything and everyone sucks, and nothing and no one has meaning. It’s a sad state of affairs and a very cynical, negative way to look at the world. There is no originality with the story, the jokes, or the execution and the lame attempt at heart near the end of the film.
Come on, America! Is this what you find funny?
How should you see it: For Seth MacFarlane fans only.