Ted occupies kind of an odd place in summer films.
It is an often riotously funny comedy, but it's not necessarily a very good
all you are looking for is a reason to laugh, then Ted delivers the
goods in spades. Just don't expect coherence of a story line when
coming in. Ted is a TV sketch extended to feature length.
The fact that much of it works is a tribute to the idea and the brilliant
comic mind behind it. However, the movie's shortcomings are probably
also because of the same two things.
Ted is a terrific deconstruction of pop culture, which makes it very
funny in a wink-nudge way, but it also dates the movie fast.
interesting, there is an off-hand riff in which a character mocks Adam
Sandler's horrible comedy Jack & Jill. Yet the movie never
takes the time to realize that structurally, Ted is not all the far
off from that much less funny film. In both, a basically nice guy is
having his life, his career and his love destroyed by an obnoxious visitor.
The only differences are the Ted is a walking, talking Teddy bear and
Jack and Jill is Adam Sandler in drag. Well, that and the fact
that writer/director Seth MacFarlane is a hell of a lot funnier than Adam
than occasionally Ted also feels a bit like an extended version of MacFarlane's
TV series Family Guy - with the inappropriately edgy bear Ted
replacing the inappropriately edgy baby Stewie - but it is also one that
works surprisingly well.
is pretty basic. Little lonely boy wishes on a star that his beloved
Teddy bear can really talk. Through some miracle, it comes true, Ted
can walk and talk like a real live boy. (The bear is voiced by
MacFarlane.) They bond due to mutual love, fear of thunder and an odd
obsession with the horrible 1980 version of Flash Gordon. The
boy and Teddy promise they will always be best friends.
forward twenty-some years. The boy has grown up to be John (Mark
Wahlberg), a slacker pothead with a dead end job and a smoking hot (and
oddly patient about the talking bear) girlfriend (Mila Kunis). Ted has
taken on most of the bad habits of his buddy - drinking, drugs, cursing,
loose women - in fact Ted is a horrible influence. Finally the
girlfriend drops the ultimatum - it's me or the bear.
is an absolutely absurd subplot about a creepy stalkerish dad (Giovanni
Ribisi) who wants to get Ted for his own son.
said, not much of a storyline, but every time the plot seems close to
sputtering out the bear will say or do something gleefully anti-social and
you can't help but laugh. This nearly constant stream of smart jokes
mostly makes up for the horribly clichéd storyline - though the manufactured
plot nearly overwhelms the levity in the final 10-15 minutes.
is working, though, it is as funny as any film you'll see this year.
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Posted: June 29, 2012.