innovativecommunications.tv It seems like a stupid premise-a grown up who lives with a teddy bear that is magically alive, in an R-rated movie. But guess what? It works! I’m Keith Kelly, and my review of “Ted” is comin’ at you right now.
Mark Walberg co-stars with a foul-mouthed teddy bear voice by Seth MacFarlane in the film “Ted”. Through a Christmas miracle, lonely little John Bennett’s teddy bear comes to life, and the two become inseparable. Fast forward more than 25 years, and the two are still hanging out-but having aged some, these Boston buddies now smoke bongs together, eat crappy food and watch cheesy movies. But a great girl walks into John’s life, and after 4 years together he has to decide if it’s finally time to really grow up, and leave his toys behind.
On paper, it sounds like this movie would really bite. But a few things help turn this film into a comedy gem. One is the very genuine relationship between John and Ted-you really feel like these two have been friends forever. Another is the believable yet outrageous performance from the teddy bear. Through the voice work from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, and from the realistic computer graphics work on bringing the stuffed Ted to life-you really buy him as a character. Lastly, there is some very funny writing in this movie-this was the first comedy in a long time that actually surprised and delighted me and made me laugh a whole lot. Plus, this film had heart and sweetness, which helped balance the raunchiness and shenanigans.
Mila Kunis, as the fetching girl friend is gorgeous but no push over. She plays the part with strength and vulnerability, and I think many women will identify with her plight-she loves her guy, but is at wit’s end with him. Most of the other actors also do a fine job, and there is even a surprising cameo that works into a major, hilarious plot point.
“Ted” is one of Mark Wahlberg’s most natural performances. At no point in the movie do you feel that he is “acting”. Yeah, he’s playing a working class Boston dude-no big stretch there, but there is a soft ease to his character-even when he is in full-out party mode, that makes his John Bennett very appealing.
My biggest complaint, which dropped “Ted” down a whole grade for me, was the third act. A subplot with a creepy dad and son just doesn’t fit too well with the rest of the film. The ending seemed tacked on as an excuse to add some action, excitement and drama to the finale. To me it felt a bit like a cop out-an assembled build-up to move the story to its climax.
Still, guys will love the crazy partying and filthy language, and girls will identify with Lori, fall in love both with loveable loser John, and his cute but disgusting teddy bear Ted. Don’t bring the kids-I know it’s got a talking plush toy-but remember, this was co-written and voiced by Mr. Family Guy himself. Pretty strong “R” rating here folks.
“Ted” earns itself a grade of “B”. I’m Keith Kelly.
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