"Ted" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
In my opinion, Seth MacFarlane is a comedic genius of our time. I mean, come on, he's made one of the best adult-animated TV shows. He is also a great actor, voice performer, singer, writer, director, and so much more. His feature-film directorial debut, "Ted", in which he also played the furry titular character, is no exception. It is hilarious, crass, and tons of fun. It not only features many of the elements that makes his other projects like "Family Guy" great, but has its own vibe that simply works in every aspect.
The movie is centered around Ted and his human-friend John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), who wished for his fluffy stuffed animal to be his friend in real-life. Now they are both middle-aged stoners, who are not really sure where they want to go in life. John works at a rental dealership and has a girlfriend named Lori (Mila Kunis), who sort of helps him get by without being a total screwup. Ted, on the other hand, is a party animal who wastes away his time on Earth instead of doing something productive with his gift. Because of this, it causes Lori to start a rift between John and Ted, forcing John to pick either her or his lifelong friend.
This isn't just an R-rated film about a man and his teddy bear; this is a HARD-R rated film about a man and his teddy bear. We see a slew of things, from bare breasts being drawn on to look like Garfield to Ted and John doing a copious amount of drugs and drinking beer after beer. The profanity and sexual content is offensive, and it's all so very glorious. MacFarlane does it in a way that you don't even realize what you're watching is extremely inappropriate. When you're talking about it with a friend after, you start to realize that this movie was definitely many shades of messed up. But MacFarlane has this way of transporting his viewer into this world he creates, and makes us feel like we're apart of the ride.
This is all basically a very long way of saying I love everything about this film. From the absurdness to the hilarious self-realization and pop culture references, this movie practically works on almost every single level in terms of comedy. I laughed my ass off watching this the first time, and I honestly do with every single rewatch as well. I can't even begin to name every single hilarious thing about it because I'd simply be ruining the movie, and I'm sure you'd rather watch it for yourself as well.
MacFarlane is excellent as the title character, and is easily one of MacFarlane's best creations. Ted starts off as this innocent little toy brought to life, but evolves into a crass, sexual deviant that basically does whatever he wants whenever he wants. The director voices this role to perfection, and when you see his iconic face, you can't help but think of the voice as well. While Ted easily steals the show the entire film, I would say Wahlberg and Kunis are great too. They have pretty fun chemistry on-screen, and their roles line up pretty well.
Yet, this is where my sole complaint is- the story aspects. Some of the film sacrifices story elements and character growth for the sake of comedy, which MacFarlane does sometimes throughout his other projects. There are instances where I wish MacFarlane would tone down the comedy so we can see how our characters progress throughout the runtime. I'm not saying there's none there, as there is, but it simply just misses the mark by a hair.
However, that still doesn't stop me from having a fantastic time every time I rewatch this film. While the three main characters are lots of fun, so are the minor characters. Theses consist of Ted's girlfriend from work Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), Lori's creepy boss Rex (Joel McHale), creepy hillbillies Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) and his son Robert (Aedin Mincks) who want to steal Ted for themselves, John's gay co-worker Guy (Patrick Warburton), and so much more. Then, the movie capitalizes on its star power by adding in tons of fun cameos, including Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jones, that just make the movie so much more fun.
This movie is just another reason to show why MacFarlane is so damn good at what he does. This movie is fun and hilarious from beginning to end, and I don't want to leave this world he created when the credits start rolling. Ted will go down as such an iconic character in comedy history, and I certainly hope we get more content from MacFarlane using this character in the future.