Stitch Splitting Furry Fun
RATED: ★ ★ ★ ★ out of 5 buckets | WORTH: Matinee and DVD
Rated: R Some drug use, pervasive language and crude and sexual content.
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Runtime: 1 hour 46 minutes
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writers: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh, Jessica Barth
SYNOPSIS: When young boy John makes a wish for his teddy bear to come to life, his wish is granted. Years later, as an adult, John and Ted do everything together - which results in difficulties at work and with John's girlfriend.
REVIEW: Seth MacFarlane, triple-threat writer/creator/voice talent of American Dad,Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, makes his first foray onto Hollywood's silver screen with his first live-action adventure. With a script written by MacFarlane, fellow Family Guyscribes Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, MacFarlane enlists A-listers Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and a angelic little stuff bear named Ted.As a nine-year-old boy with no friends, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter) receives a teddy bear for Christmas and wishes that his furry friend could talk for real. When John's wish comes true, Ted (Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy) comes to life and becomes John's fast furry friend. Ted becomes a sensation, making appearances, gracing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. But with any fleeting fame comes the life that happens after. Ted's star fades but he remains John's closest friend. A thirty-five-year-old John still has his best friend at his side, living together in the same apartment with the bear and girlfriend Lori Collin (Mila Kunis, Black Swan). While Lori works hard as an executive at her firm, John and Ted get high in the mornings, John gets to work late, and the pair continues to make juvenile decisions. When Lori tires of John's antics with Ted, she gives John an ultimatum to get rid of Ted or lose her.
Seth MacFarlane does things with a stuffed talking teddy bear that should not be shown on screen. Of course, since he is Seth MacFarlane, putting Ted and his profane antics on screen is the first thing he decides to do. The creator of the indomitable Family Guy (remember when your favorite homage to All In The Family was cancelled from the Fox network?) continues his reign of taking something cute like a baby or a dog and using that cuteness for the most vile and ridiculous situations. This time, with Ted, MacFarlane opens the cuddly stuffed critter's stitched mouth and lets the vulgarity spew forth. But he's just a teddy bear, you say? When Ted is standing in the doorway with his button eyes and upturned smiling mouth, you want to say aaah. When he talks about drugs or women or drugs or alcohol, you can't help but break out in laughter that will lead to rolling tears.
The laughs are fast and furious, starting from the beginning scene and last the entire length of the movie. In fact, you may want to avoid a packed theater altogether because the laughter is so unexpected and quick at times that you will absolutely miss any dialogue that follows! From a teddy bear being carted away from airport security because of mushroom contraband to wrongful maneuvers with a grocery store checkout line, MacFarlane, Ted and cast deliver. MacFarlane also writes in a few Family Guy-esque fantasy flashbacks involving Flash Gordon and a hovercraft ride.
Mark Wahlberg is perfect as the almost delinquent man-child John with the heart of gold and ability to make his girlfirend laugh. Like his role as a detective in The Other Guys, Wahlberg knows when to play the straight man and when to go for the laughs. The beautiful Mila Kunis as Lori is sweet and tough, knowing that laughter is more important than prestige and power. MacFarlane's voice work on a CGI furry and fuzzy bear named Ted may sound a lot like Peter Griffin from Family Guy but you will forget that fact when you see how he acts. Added to the cast is Joel McHale (What's Your Number?) as Lori's leacherous boss Rex, Giovanni Ribisi (Contraband) as a father named Donny willing to do anything to collect Ted for his own son, Family Guy alum Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement) as Rent-A-Car co-worker Guy, and Jessica Barth (Get Smart) as a Ted groupie with a trailer trash first name.
Ted is a hilarious and light-hearted film filled with the warm stuffing of wrong words, wrong gestures, and oh-so-wrong situations. Funny from start to finish, with a little drama sprinkled throughout, Ted is as refreshing as it is raunchy. Teddy bears may be cute and cuddly, but give them a voice and a few years to experience life and you have the makings of something much more obscene than a simple Winnie the Pooh.
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