From the creator of TV’s Family Guy and co-creator of American Dad and The Cleveland Show, Seth MacFarlane brings us his big-screen feature debut, Ted.
It is Christmas 1985 in the Boston suburbs when friendless 9 year-old John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) wishes his teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) to life. The magic of a child’s wish on a falling star animates the bear and creates a life-long friend, named Teddy, for John. Now 35 years-old, John and Ted are stronger than ever in their childish ways. John has a dead-end job in a car rental company, has no ambition and is struggling with adult responsibilities as he is brought down by his furry ex-celebrity, pot smoking, potty mouthed, partying bear. With John’s long-term girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), in the picture some life changing choices will have to be made. John must face up to reality and start prioritising his life, but John can’t quit his bear, so what will come of Ted?
Despite telling the well known tale about growing up, what makes Ted great is the fact that Ted is a teddy bear and no matter how crude his humour, or sex life becomes he still melts hearts when he is presented as the vulnerable furry friend. Centring on the relationship of a grown man with his teddy bear and unlike the stories of E.T and Toy Story that foreground sympathetic and redemptive narratives, Ted is unsubtly politically incorrect and facetious which makes the humour offensive and immature. This shamelessly incorrect comedy comes with an air of nostalgia of those childhood and teenage years which lacked responsibility or maturity and could even offer a critique of the infantilisation of masculinity in today’s society and the constant struggle we face to grow up and mature.
Whatever subtext there may be to Ted, this comedy is not one bit serious. The humour found in Ted, though, may not be enjoyed by everyone simply because of its vulgarity. With a bear reminiscent of Peter Griffin of Family Guy, to the extent in which he is compared to Peter in the film, fans of Family Guy will not be disappointed especially considering a lot of the cast members from this TV series are also present.
With great performances given by both Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, Ted has an air of whimsical charm about it, but for those that do not know MacFarlane’s shows; the humour may prove to be rather un-tasteful with the offensive one-liners that MacFarlane is well known for.
A tongue and cheek comedy, Ted will not fail to raise eyebrows.
Written by Shirley Welton, who also blogs at Beyond the Edges of the Frame.