Everyone is familiar with Seth MacFarlane‘s antics, the man behind Family Guy, whose first directorial movie debut is in the form of a cute, cuddly teddy bear named Ted. Starring Mark Wahlberg as John, a 35 year old who received Ted as a gift when he was a child, wishes on a shooting star for Ted came to life. He does, experiences brief fame due to being a talking teddy bear and then things became normal for them. Ted grows up alongside John and before we know it, John is working in a car rental agency living with his talking teddy bear.
Don’t let the premise foundation fool, it sounds silly and it is. But after the initial, even purposely cheesy opening scenes, things immediately get down to business. The contrast between an almost family-friendly opening to a clearly R-Rated movie makes it all the more fantastic. Adding to that are the level of jokes that help to kick it off. Ted, voiced by MacFarlane, sounds exactly like Peter Griffin. That is pointed out and immediately, I can relax, because our minds have been read and addressed so I know that I can expect this movie to deliver what I want.
The story revolves around the relationship between Ted and his girlfriend of four years Lori (Mila Kuniz), who is looking for more in their relationship but feels that Ted is the obstacle to that. Essentially similar to the basis of last year’s The Muppets but obviously a very different take. This film’s jokes are crude – hilariously. Often needing a double-take to ask “did they just say that?” Using MacFarlane’s style of taking a joke much too far but not in the way that it is overdoing it and unwanted, more in essence of knowing it will be offensive and not pussy-footing around it.
While the film relies a lot on the consistently crude jokes to keep it above and beyond most comedies, there are a lot of jokes that seem out of place because they re-occur too often or are simply too common in bro-flicks. Fart jokes, for instance, are recurring, and while not unexpected in a film of this type, they seem below the script. Almost too juvenile for a movie that takes its R-Rating seriously.
There are aspects of the overall storyline that almost distract from the main purpose of this film, to be raunchy and terribly hilarious, but the level of humour is surprisingly maintained for nearly the entire film, almost raising the bar for comedies of this type, but knowingly this may only be a one-off situation. Seth MacFarlane has a very distinct comedic style that may only work in sparing instances. Ted, being his first attempt at the big screen, is triumphant because it’s his first.