Robyn Morrison reviews Seth MacFarlane’s unsubtle comedy, Ted
Ask any man in his twenties or thirties what film he most wants to see at the cinema this month and I am willing to bet that his answer will be Ted. From the creator of Family Guy, this stoner comedy is about the relationship between a grown man and his not-so-imaginary childhood teddy bear as they struggle to shake off their immaturity and adapt to adult life.
Similar to films such as Knocked Up and Old School which centre on the refusal to abandon adolescence, Ted is about John Bennett, a thirty year old car salesman who is forced to decide between his friendship with his badly behaved childhood teddy bear and his long-term girlfriend. Lori, played by Mila Kunis, is an intelligent career driven woman who has grown tired of coming second to the bear and gives John, played by Mark Wahlberg, the ultimatum to give up his teddy bear or risk losing her forever.
Attempting to get a few cheap laughs using the shock factor of sexualising a childhood figure or cute cuddly animal, or having them spurt derogatory statements is nothing new to cinema and has been seen before in films such as The Beaver starring Mel Gibson. However, the interaction between John, Lori and Ted is what makes the story so believable and Ted’s human characteristics and emotions allow the audience to warm to this stuffed bear and somewhat forgive him for his distasteful language. For fans of Family Guy, Ted is simply a smaller, teddy bear version of the programmes Peter Griffin.
The film presents an excuse to ‘goof-off ’ for just over an hour and a half and put yourself in the mind-set of two young ‘men’ with a strong friendship built on sitting at home, smoking weed and talking about women, TV shows and popular culture. The language and humour in this fantasy could be seen as offensive; however the charming relationship between the pair and nostalgic outlook is sure to win over audiences, especially the young men whose culture it celebrates.
With its lewd and crude humour, Ted isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re familiar with the world MacFarlane has previously created in Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, or you aren’t very PC, then Ted is a must see. Just be warned that this film about a stuffed bear has very adult content!