Seth MacFarlane has proved himself to be an extremely funny comic. 1999 saw the groundbreaking cartoon “Family Guy” that has offended, been canceled and made people laugh the world over. This still remains his best and most popular show today. In 2005 he had a new cartoon comedy show called “American Dad!” The show took more of an aim at political humor rather than pop culture and its more of a “hate it or love it” type show, I for one loved it, many times it exceeds “Family Guy’s” quality (especially in later seasons). His only misfire is “The Cleveland Show.” Even if that show was a misfire all three of them did share the classic “Seth MacFarlane humor.” It had different variations on it but through it all it you could tell it was a Seth MacFarlane show. This film is no different, if you didn’t like him before then don’t bother watching this film it is still his humor the only difference is, he isn’t bound by TV regulations and can say whatever he wants in this R rated comedy. He makes good use of this in a laugh out loud comedy that at times sometimes too familiar for its own good but still makes good use of its concept and is incredibly memorable.
John Bennett was having a lonely childhood but when one Christmas John gets a Teddy Bear for Christmas and makes a wish that he could really talk. Then the next morning his Teddy bear comes to life and becomes his very best friend. Then they grew up. Now John has to balance his life with his girlfriend that he been dating for 4 years and his friendship with Ted.
Before I talk about the humor in this comedy let me talk about the story. The concept is interesting and original. The story is formulaic and predicable, which is an odd contrast. We have seen the bros vs. ho’s storyline more times than I can count and the film takes that very formula and doesn’t real change much of it up at all. This is properly the weakest part of the film and feels a bit lazy from Seth not trying to change some things up. If you replaced the teddy bear with a regular person, this would not be nearly as appealing. One thing you can applaud the script for is create a situation where you as the audience cannot really take sides between Ted and Bennett’s Girlfriend because you love and care for both of them.
That being said most of that problem can be overlooked because of “the high concept,” a talking drug and alcohol inhaling teddy bear. I’m not sure why and maybe it’s the teenager in all of us but there is just something so funny and ironic about that. Then again without the bear the film wouldn’t be as original as it is. But still even with all the horrible stuff Ted does in the film, Seth does make us care about him. How did he do that? Ted is shown to be a really good friend even with all the mayhem he causes as a result of his absolutely dumb and moronic actions. Seth MacFarlane is front and center as Ted which is nicely animated from CGI. Seth’s voice might not sound all that different from Peter Griffin but they address that in the movie and it works because of the self aware attitude the movie has.
Even the romance is very well and steadily handled. You can believe what you see on screen is true love. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis have great on screen chemistry as John Bennett and Lori Collins. Both of them is terrific in their roles and are both very funny.
The humor is classic Seth MacFarlane humor. You have the pop culture references, social jokes, smart ones and some gross over the top ones. Believe or not the “Family Guy” creator even injects some of his classic cut away gags from the show. A lot of what made Family Guy funny is shown in this film as well. The jokes keep firing away like an automatic weapon of comedy with unlimited ammo in the supply. There are jokes throughout the film and some come off as just so random and funny not many fall flat at all. Of course in this film Seth can say pretty much whatever he wants and he lets almost no stone untouched almost every form of comedy is shown in this film. The unrated edition does add some new jokes not too grand but if you do get offended than don’t watch that edition (or the regular for that matter) Seth does step very far over the line of offensive with one joke that was cut out for obvious reasons. Family Guy fans get treated to nice cameos of their favorite stars from the show (and one American Dad cameo) and anyone who is a big fan of “Flash Gordon” (1980) should watch this movie.
This is Seth MacFarlane’s first live action directorial debut. I have to say he has proved he can direct full length films and I hope he continues to do so. In fact I say he should focus more on that than TV shows now. Let his shows run their course and then I hope he focuses only on projects like this. Now he has another film coming out next year “A Million Ways to die in the West” (2014) and then “Ted 2” which is slated for either 2015 or 16. Seth also said that after these projects are done he plans to make the long awaited “Family Guy” movie.
For Seth’s first film it is a winner. It may be familiar at times and even some of its jokes as well but it is easy to overlook (most) of that with this charming, smart, offensive, and extremely funny buddy comedy adventure, that is incredibly memorable.