Ted (Seth MacFarlane, 2012): USA
Reviewed by Kathleen Amboy. Viewed at CineArts @Santana Row, San Jose, CA.
A lonely boy is compelled to wish his teddy bear to life in conjunction with a falling star, when he is bullied by neighborhood kids and in need of a best friend.
Cuddly Teddy becomes a devoted friend and confidante, and also a celebrity, even appearing on the Johnny Carson Show. As the years go by, John (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy, or ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), stay close and grow older, but never grow up.
At 35 John works at a rental car agency, but has difficulty showing up on time, due to the increasingly bad influences of ted and his fondness for drugs, beer, loose women, and T.V.
John and ted trash-talk, break wind, guzzle beer, and are basic blood brothers during thunderstorms. Live-in love Lori (Mila Kunis), becomes the fly in the ointment, when she decides it’s time for John to stand on his own two feet, and ted must move out.
Surprisingly ted is able to find himself digs and a job, and has the remarkable ability to impress his boss whenever he shows bad judgment or screws up (i.e. nailing a blond grocery clerk on top of the produce), and always manages to incur a promotion.
The turning point for these counterproductive characters are the father and son stalker-duo, named Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) and Robert (Aedin Mincks), who pose as “fans” of ted’s, and try to entice him to come live with them, in their creepy Norman Bates style home.
Having zero expectations, I was shockingly entertained by several hysterical moments in this film, namely ted’s job promotions! Admittedly, ted belongs to a genre of film that is strictly crude and dumb-ass, for the sake of being crude and dumb-ass, as in the antics of Hangover and Hangover Part II, and the lesser funny Bridesmaids and Horrible Bosses. The humor is based on stereo-typical people or events, which of course hold some truths that enable the writers to tap into a certain reality as we know it.
It’s refreshing to see Mark Wahlberg, who rarely disappoints, in a comedic role, and Mila Kunis is perfect as his straight man. Special kudos must go to Giovanni Ribisi, for his smooth but disturbing, chester-the-molester character.
Written, directed, and produced by Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy), there are a few lulls, but overall a disgustingly funny film.
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