Ted

When a young boy who’s lonely for a friend makes a wish that his teddy bear was really alive, his wish magically comes true. And while that’s a magical, sweet, incredible thing for a young boy… no one anticipated how things would be a couple of decades down the road. Ted would wind up being an unemployed, middle-aged foul-mouthed teddy bear with substance abuse problems. Which is bad enough in and of itself, but it’s also causing issues for the now grown-up boy.

An attachment to a teddy bear has a way of holding a man back in life.  

“Ted” is vulgar, fun, and funny. The central “joke” of a foul-mouthed living Teddy Bear may wear a little thin by the end of the film, but it still has a lot of very funny moments and filth to spare. Easy to recommend for fans of partying humor everywhere.

John Bennett is lonely young boy. He’s an only child, and unpopular with the other children in his neighborhood. So when his parents buy him a teddy bear one Christmas, John winds up getting pretty attached to it. One night he makes a wish for the toy bear to be alive for real… and his wish comes true. John and “Ted” form a very close bond, as only a boy and his magical, talking teddy bear can.

Fast forward about thirty years, and John (Mark Wahlberg) has grown up. Well, older at least. And so has Ted (Seth MacFarlane). John works a low-level job at a rental car agency, and together they spend their days getting wasted and watching bad movies. Ted enjoyed some celebrity when his existence was first revealed to the country, plus he’s a fuzzy little teddy bear, so he plays these two assets to the fullest, and gets freaky with all the ladies he can. Thing is, though, John has a girlfriend (Mila Kunis) that he’s getting serious with now, and Ted is getting in the way. Not only are Ted’s raunchy appetites encroaching on their privacy, but John’s attachment to the bear is holding him back personally and professionally. So she asks John to ask Ted to move out. It’s time for he and his magical toy to live apart from each other.

The central conflict of the movie is essentially bromance vs romance with the added twist that one of the bros is actually a talking toy bear. The “girl getting between” is pretty tried and true storyline. There’s a plot element about an obsessed fan (Giovanni Ribisi) who wants to kidnap Ted, and Kunis’ boss (Joel McHale) is hitting on her at work, but these things are basically just devices to drive the trio apart or together as the storyline requires at the moment. So there’s not all that much to the story aside from the high concept.

Essentially, “Ted” isn’t quite a one trick pony of a movie, but it’s close. They do work in a great running gag about “Flash Gordon”, and lots of other pop culture references and movie allusions. The central gag though – a dirty teddy bear – is the movie’s bread and butter. Ted does drugs, hires hookers, gets into fights, automobile accidents, and a variety of other miscellaneous misbehaviors. The trailers have shown off a snippet of virtually all of the main gag sequences, so it’s safe to say that if you liked the trailers, you’ll like the movie. Ted curses like a sailor, parties like an animal, and has an extremely sardonic and cynical outlook on life. It’s a very humorous juxtaposition to see a cute and cuddly little bear doing blow and partying with hookers, as you can imagine. It may run a little dry by the end, but there’s enough there to get some really good laughs along the way. Wahlberg plays a decent straight man to McFarlane, although I think the funniest human character is either Ribisi’s psycho character or a cameo that I wont spoil for you.

“Ted” is a very funny flick, and accurately marketed, so if you laughed at the trailers, you won’t be let down by the movie itself. If what you saw there wasn’t funny to you though, I might recommend taking a pass, because aside from “Crass Bear is Funny”, there’s not that much else here to see.

B+

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37 thoughts on “Ted

    • Flash! Ah-aa! LOL

      It was fun, I just dont know about what kind of staying power it could develop, you know? As a movie, what kind of staying power it would have… So, I’m with you on not being sure about multiple viewings, absolutely.

    • I had some laughs with it, absolutely.

      But you’re 100% right about it not being as funny as it could have been. I mean, with the concept of a talking teddy bear? They could have developed so many other funny situations… essentially they boiled it down to “It would be funny to watch a Teddy Bear party” LOL

    • Thanks buddy. :D Jaina deserves most of the props. I was just doing a lot of this… “Uh, yeah, that looks good, sure.” :D

      It’s a decent flick, I had fun with it, the audience cracked up quite a bit. It’s one of those moviews that’s really easy to judge if you’d like it or not just from the trailer, you know? So, if that made you laugh, you’re all set Le0p.

  1. As a non-family guy fan, I dug the hell out of this one. It actually hits pretty close to home as my wife kept pointing out through various parts of the film…….minus the filthy talking teddy of course, but FLASH is my ultimate movie hero!

    • LOL!! Man, didnt Sam Jones have a hell of a sense of humor about himself? That was great. What a funny part. :D

      I’m not a Family Guy watcher either. I’ve seen a handful of episodes, I liked them, thought they were funny, but never started “Following” it.

      So its safe to say you dont need to follow that show to enjoy this movie.

      Although it is a little freaky sometimes the fact that the voices are the same. LOL

  2. I was shocked that Sam Jones was still alive ;-) This movie cracked me up. Not as much as some people at the theater who were rolling in the aisles… but I did enjoy it. I think it would certainly help if you were a child of the 80’s, from Boston and had seen Flash Gordon, as far as enjoying this film goes.

    • Yeah, I’m sure it would.

      I’m batting 2 out of 3 there, so I did alright. But I think if all the Boston jokes rang true, too? Damn. LOL Might be a top ten of the year in that case!!

      Meanwhile, audiences really took to this flick. It wayyyyy overperformed at the gate this weekend, bigtime!

  3. This looks like my kinda fun man. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I find this a really intriguing premise. Great review Fogs. I’ll be checking this one out.

    • Cool. If you like the look of it, you’ll like the flick. Its a pretty transparent equation, to me… they set up a premise and deliver on it. Not much more, mind you, but they do make good on the promises of the trailers. Thats something that not every movie can say.

  4. I am not a fan of Family Guy (except for the Star Wars” spoofs) but I did like the trailer for “Ted”. The audience that I saw this with was roaring out loud at this, and I was roaring right along with them. As a lover of cheese (Flash Gordon), I enjoyed the entire Sam Jones gags. And I almost fell out of my chair when I saw Patrick Warburton’s boyfriend. Can’t wait for the Blu-ray.

    • Yeah, Warburton’s bf was pretty funny, definitely. LOL

      I thought it was funny, too… I just wish there had been a little more to it somehow. But still, not a bad flick. Definitely enjoyable!

  5. First off, awesome new layout. I’m diggin’ it.

    I haven’t seen Ted yet, but it’s on my to-do list. I like these raunchy comedies, but I’m not expecting too much as far as plot. I’m pretty happy that Ted is beating Magic Mike in the box office.

    • Thanks Jen! I think it came out pretty good. We’ll see if it scares people off or not. LOL

      Why’re you happy Ted is beating out Magic Mike? Got something against male exotic dancers? :D

  6. We are pretty eye to eye on this one though I liked the transition to some heart at the end! The last gag by Ted still has me chuckling.

    • I didnt mind it, I just thought it wound up being a little simple, you know, Ric? They didnt really go any cool places with the premise… that was my big beef.

      I’m still chuckling over Sam Jones, actually. LOL

  7. Morning / Evening

    I dunno about this one matey. I never have been a fan of Family Guy, it passed me by for some reason. I am not sure why as all my friends swear by it. I didn’t find the trailer that funny either, So I guess this isn’t for me hey?

    • I would say absolutely not, then, yeah. LOL.

      If the trailer – I’d check the red band trailer so you get the whole swearing / drug using aspect – if that doesnt do anything for you, I’d say you should definitely skip it. That’s my thinking at least.

      Plus, that Family Guy tone kind of shows up now and then here, without a doubt.

  8. This is, basically, Family Guy: The Movie. In some ways, that’s good, because live-action means MacFarlane has to play somewhat honest and can’t do the sort of irritating crap he does on TV all the time in terms of rubber-banding reality. But in many other ways, that’s bad, because Family Guy isn’t funny.

    Comedy is the most subjective of genres, I admit, so let it be said that my clear bias against MacFarlane has everything to do with the fact that the guy doesn’t make me laugh. For the most part. Ted, like many things he handles, has its moments, but mostly it’s just a succession of the sort of bad comedic timing he displays in his TV enterprises.

    My big problem with MacFarlane, and thus with Ted, is that he has no idea how to tell a joke without forcing it. When he tries to be shocking– and he does– the material ends up feeling choked, like he’s just too excited to make an offensive offhand remark about [ethnic group]. He thinks these jokes are funny, and he will not wait a moment longer to tell them to the whole world. And so they end up feeling flat for me. He’s not writing jokes into his story– he’s writing his story around his jokes. I hate that. And Ted is basically an hour and forty minutes of that.

    I dug Wahlberg and Kunis, Ted himself looks really good, and the cameos are amazing. But I can’t really give MacFarlane much credit for doing nothing with Ted that he doesn’t do every Sunday night, just louder and with more vulgarity.

    • I’m not going to hop on the Hater bandwagon here, because frankly I guess I’m neutral on the whole “Family Guy” thing. I saw a handful of episodes, liked them enough not to say anything bad about them, but didnt like them enough to start tuning in.

      I WILL say that this – “He’s not writing jokes into his story– he’s writing his story around his jokes. I hate that. And Ted is basically an hour and forty minutes of that.” is EXACTLY true. And the main reason I couldnt give the movie a higher grade. Because even though I did laugh – I did find a lot of the jokes really funny – I couldnt get past the fact that the story was an excuse to have a foul-mouthed magic teddy bear walking around cussing and partying and hitting on chicks and stuff.

      So I cant back you 100% of the way on that, but I agree on the story part of it, bigtime.

      I thought a lot of the jokes worked well enough. Definitely grant that he’s crude though, no doubt. LOL

      • I wouldn’t classify myself as a hater because I have legitimate problems with how MacFarlane handles humor. He’s a hack. At the same time, I’m a big proponent of loud, offensive humor. He just isn’t very good at it, at least not with any consistency. George Carlin knew how to push boundaries and be funny and be totally natural at the same time. MacFarlane doesn’t.

        Thing is, I really wanted this to make me laugh and be great, because the premise is gold. There’s just not much of a story to tell, and MacFarlane just treats the idea as a novelty gag that stretches out for far too long.

  9. Fogs, great review as always. I was more than a little cautious at this movie as I didn’t like the trailers. Not a big Family Guy person, although American Dad is one of my favorites and quite possibly the funniest show on tv right now IMO. Think I’ll give this one a go once it goes on DVD

    • Thanks buddy, that’s always nice to hear!

      And man… yeah, on DVD, its definitely worth a rental, I dont know if you “blind buy” or not, I know I do, I’d even say its not a bad deal then.

      If you’re a fan of his humor on other stuff, you’ve got a good chance here, for sure…

  10. Awesome review! Glad you enjoyed this one, I plan to see it as soon as possible. But hell, I’d watch Mila Kunis read a phonebook :)

    • Ha! She is a little spitfire, isn’t she? She was decent here, wasn’t the star of the show by any means, but she had a large role to play.

      I did like it well enough, I laughed quite a bit! Hope you do too when you see it, Sati. :D

  11. I think this movie was better than it had any right to be. One of this year’s biggest surprises, right up there with 21 Jump Street. Plus it’s making me bank in the AM Fantasy Draft :D

    Slick redesign, BTW. Looking pretty rad, Fogs!

    • Thanks Eric.

      I’m trying not to think of the AM fantasy draft league. Every time I do I want to kick myself. LOL!!

      This was an enjoyable flick… I dont know if I was surprised though, I thought the trailers set expectations perfectly… for me, at least. I got what I thought I would, you know?

      Definitely liked it, though.

  12. I enjoy Family Guy–it’s always 50/50 for me and Ted was exactly the same. Some jokes fell flat–but overall I laughed more than not.

    I thought it was clever to play it straight and appreciated how McFarlane made the universe accept a talking teddy bear as normal–a “miracle” but normal nonetheless. :)

    It gets extra points for being original and having a sweet romance and bromance. McFarlane is really a softie!

    • Yeah, I agree overall, I laughed more than not.

      I thought the “Sweet” element of the movie was where it kind of fell into cliche though. As much as I enjoyed it, I wish they had found some ways to further explore the whole “Magic Bear with Bad Attitude” in the world as opposed to just the bromance/romance.

      Still good though, I did like it a lot. Glad you agree Nedi!

  13. Yeah I recently saw this film and I was kind of expecting it to have more of the same random humour as Family Guy… I think Ted is a different kind of humour that I didn’t enjoy as much. It was an entertaining film nevertheless. :)

    Connie.

    • There was definitely still a touch of that here and there, with like the Airplane parody, and the Flash Gordon stuff. But it certainly wasn’t the kind of rapid fire tempo that Family guy throws at you…

      I dont know if you could do that in a movie without it being like, say, Airplane is actually a good example.

      I liked it well enough though, I enjoyed it too Connie. :D

  14. Went to see this last night. The theater was packed and everyone seemed to enjoy the movie based on all the laughter. I went with my wife who tends to not enjoy these types of movies much, however I believe she liked it better than I did. There are a lot of one liners that I probably missed due to the laughter but I really liked this no brainer type movie. It takes you on a ride and you don’t need to drive.

    • Ohhh I am STEALIN’ that one. Some day down the line, I’m totally reusing that “Takes you on a ride and you dont need to drive” :D Thats a good one.

      Anyways, glad you liked it, I did too. Could it have been better? Yeah, definitely. But still good enough.

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