Assuredly, fans of Family Guy will find enjoyment in Ted, as it is co-written and directed by Seth McFarlane. I, myself, am about, oh, a 75 % fan of Family Guy. It’s generally funny, but sometimes I feel like the jokes are just for Seth, and no one else. That being said, Ted is still as broad in it’s comedy and often low brow, but perhaps there are less jokes that require you to be in Seth’s head.
I have to admit, when I saw the trailers for Ted, I thought it looked funny. And not a bad premise, either. Who’s explored the idea of a kid’s stuffed teddy bear growing up with them? Assuredly, fans of Family Guy will find enjoyment in Ted, as it is co-written and directed by Seth McFarlane. I, myself, am about, oh, a 75 % fan of Family Guy. It’s generally funny, but sometimes I feel like the jokes are just for Seth, and no one else. That being said, Ted is still as broad in it’s comedy and often low brow, but perhaps there are less jokes that require you to be in Seth’s head. I found myself on board immediately. Is it funny? Oh yeah.
John Bennet didn’t have many friends as a kid. One Christmas his parents get him a big stuffed teddy bear and he loves it. One night John wishes that Teddy could really talk and that they’d be friends forever. Lo and behold, the wish comes true and Teddy is alive and talking. 35 years later, they’re still together even though John has a girlfriend of four years. Problem is, she wants him to grow up and make an honest woman of her and thinks Ted is holding him back.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this movie. Seth McFarlane is definitely a funny guy, but I only have ever seen Family Guy out of his three (yes, three) animated shows he has on TV. Personally I think that’s spreading it too thin, but hey, like I said, I don’t watch all his shows. But he’s clearly preparing for world domination and it looks like there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him. Thankfully, Ted makes my subjugation easier to swallow.
It is undeniably funny. It’s an entertaining movie that kept me laughing, even though much of the humor is off-color. So, you get to be a 17 year old again for a while. Ted is a bear that smokes weed with his friend John, they drink too much, they watch the 1980 version of Flash Gordon starring Sam J. Jones, and Ted cracks wise and insults pretty much everyone. But he’s a cute fucking teddy bear so he gets away with it. And why wouldn’t he? You can’t help but laugh. And the jokes, as offensive as they may be, are never really mean spirited. It’s still all goofy and light-hearted. He’s like an insult comic in the form of a teddy bear.
Generally speaking, Ted isn’t breaking new ground as far as plot goes; it’s still a buddy movie in structure, but it manages to stay funny. Seth McFarlane makes this movie work because he doesn’t give up. The premise doesn’t get old and they follow through even after the first payoff of a scene. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t lose steam. McFarlane has a nearly limitless source fo socially obnoxious behavior in Ted. And like I said, the bear can get away with it.
There are a few great cameo’s in this- one of which doesn’t say a word, but doesn’t need to and is still funny. One you can guess if you remember the Flash Gordon movie (What ever happened to…?). The cast is great – even Mark Wahlberg is properly suited to this role of a manchild, John, with a foul-mouthed teddy bear as a best friend. Seth McFarlane himself voices Ted, and he undoubtedly sounds a little like Peter Griffin, and it’s not like they don’t know it. Mila Kunis is solid as the long-time girlfriend, and Giovanni Ribisi is decidely creepy as the father of a boy who wants his own Ted VERY badly. Joel McHale, Patrick Warburton, Bill Smitrovich and others are all fun here. And of course, Patrick Stewart narrating is not to be overlooked. I’m always glad to know he has a sense of humor.
I am very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Ted. Surely there will be some discussion about this here at CFN as not everyone is a Family Guy fan. But I’m giving it four kittenhands anyway.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, surprised to find the funniest movie character of the summer so far to be a stuffed bear.