Score = B
(Comedy, Fantasy/ Rated-R)
Review by: Kisho Wolfe
Logline: I want my teddy bear…the adult version.
The best thing you can do when you go to the movies is have low expectations. Why? The main reason is to avoid the disappointment if it stinks up the theater. A better reason; if the movie happens to take your low expectations, flip you off and make you love it, then you’re actually happy you just got flipped off.
Ted is a comedy about John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), who made a wish when he was youngster. The wish was for his stuffed teddy bear to become real so he would have a friend since he was not exactly the most popular kid growing up in suburban Massachusetts. A shooting star grants that powerful wish and turns his teddy into a live talking, walking bear of the cotton-stuffed kind. The two are inseparable and the friendship lasts for years.
Fast forward to the present day and 35-year-old John is a slacker of sorts, but somehow has managed a steady 4 year relationship with the beautiful Lori Collins(Mila Kunis). Lori has a stronger grasp on the realities of life and wants John to get himself together so they can move to the next level of their relationship; which also includes cutting Ted(voiced by Seth Macfarlane) out of the picture. Ted is seen as the negative influence in John’s life and Lori feels it’s beyond time for her boyfriend to get rid of his teddy bear and grow up as a man ultimately should.
John and Lori’s relationship gets rocky, but of course Lori gives John another chance which forces Ted to venture out on his own. Ted ends up getting work at a super market and even gets promoted by getting caught doing not-so-teddy bear-esque things on the job. He lands an apartment and sets up for life without John, but best buds never stay apart long right? The last straw is broken when Ted talks John into attending a party and then has to deal with the repercussions of his actions.
There are plenty of references and cameos in the film, story-related and otherwise. Nora Jones (as herself) sings a tune and even has a small acting part. They even throw in Ryan Reynolds for an “interesting” non speaking cameo. Giovanni Ribisi and Aedin Mincks play the awkward father and son in the film which makes up the small villain aspect. It seems like the writers realized the movie didn’t have a hearty story arc for the third act to “pop” and hashed these two as an afterthought, given the minute story behind them. A bit more energy spent developing these characters would have definitely given the movie more depth, but then again, a big part of entertainment is knowing which audience you are catering to…
Ted is a witty and at times vulgar, laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s pretty much a shallow story of a non-typical “third wheel” causing problems in a relationship. Having said that, everything else soars along with great pacing, comedic timing and enough social consciousness to keep you sucked in until its heartfelt conclusion.