Ok, so don’t try to think about Ted’s plot too much: Girl wants guy to choose her over his underachieving life-long best friend, also the best friend is a Teddy Bear brought to life through a magic wish. However, if audiences were willing to enjoy to absurdity of Anchorman and the silliness of Dogdeball, then it’s a safe bet to assume Ted will be forgiven for a bizarre set-up. If you ignore the Teddy Bear aspect, the plot is painfully familiar, thereby hanging the entire success of the movie on the titular character. Fortunately, this gamble pays off and the majority of the laughs (and there are many) are thanks to Ted himself, with a job interview scene being particularly tear inducing.
Considering Ted is Directed, written and starring Seth MacFarlane, creator of both the hugely successful Family Guy, and the slightly less popular American Dad (no, not mentioning the other one), anyone who has sat down to an episode of either has a pretty good idea of what to expect. There is clearly a lot of love written into this film, and it feels as if it’s been sitting in MacFarlane’s to-do-pile for some time. MacFarlane’s famous Family Guy style cutaways are present, and have a less subtle presence than you’d expect in a major motion picture, but none the less feel at home. The ability to deliver a punch line quickly, and efficiently reminds us why they worked so well in Family Guy in the first place.
Like most things spawned by Seth MacFarlane, Ted is somewhat of a love letter to the 80s. This can wear thin after a while; especially to those who were born in the late 80s onwards – forcing audiences to eagerly await the next filthy joke. It may be childish, but this is where Ted is strongest – the filth. Much how Danny McBride has enjoyed a whole career based on foul language, Ted creates some of the biggest laughs just by uttering a swear word or two.
Mark Wahlberg reminds us he’s now perfectly at home starring in comedies, and much how the Funky Bunch didn’t work out for him, maybe movies like Max Payne should act as a clear hazardous signpost along his career path. With the exception of one emotional scene, Family Guy alum Mila Kunis does little for the movie save to progress the story. But really, this film is about the bromance between Wahlberg’s character and his Teddy Bear, and that works just fine.
Ultimately, Ted is a charming, silly and crude movie. The tone is perfect throughout the movie, which is of course - only if you’re not easily offended. It will be interesting to see if Seth MacFarlane can produce more movies of a similar standard. After all this refreshing comedy has demonstrated that some originality in comedy goes a long way, and why Adam Sandler keeps winning Razzie awards.