"Ted" (2012)

Ted (2012)
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Running time: 106 minutes

It’s amazing, go see it!

See you next time!

…ok so you actually want to know more? Who am I to say no?!

Now Showing this week is Ted, the directorial debut of Seth MacFarlane (creator of TV comedy Family Guy). Ted tells the story of a thirty-five year old man named John (Mark Wahlberg) who’s best friend is Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), the teddy bear he was given for Christmas when he was a child and miraculously wished to come alive. John and Ted were wonderful friends while they were growing up, but in adulthood they have both ended up in a rut, constantly spending their days getting stoned on the couch and watching the 80s movie Flash Gordon. John has a dead-end job at a rental car business and a sexy girlfriend named Lori (Mila Kunis) who is getting fed up with John’s lack of ambition. To fix this, Lori is trying to urge John to grow up and do what every man must at some point in his life: leave his teddy bear behind.

Fans of Family Guy will know exactly the kind of humour to expect from Ted and that humour is one that is filled with pop culture references, very crass and politically incorrect comments and some moments of complete randomness. Rest assured, Ted has this in spades. Most of the Family Guy-esque humour comes from Ted himself, and he even has a voice reminiscent of Family Guy star Peter Griffin, however the film never feels like it’s “Family Guy: The Movie”. The correlations are there, but MacFarlane clearly knows that with an original work like Ted that not only must he appeal to his established fan-base, he must also appeal to the general masses who may have never heard of him before. The results are the aforementioned Family Guy style humour but with much of the outright weirdness toned right down. And by god it works! Some of the jokes come across as a little esoteric, for example I have never seen Flash Gordon but I knew enough to go along with the jokes; but nothing was so out of left field that the jokes didn’t make sense unlike some of Family Guy. Ted is completely unashamed of itself, presenting extremely out-there jokes (some of which were able to bring tears to my eyes) and it was extremely refreshing. This is an “outrageous comedy” that is thankfully not in the vein of the gross-out tactics of films such as American Pie or The Hangover Part II. Ted is an example of that type of film being done properly.

But the true highlight of Ted, the aspect of the film that elevates it (for me, at least) from a great outrageous comedy to a high quality film is the serious aspects. There is an expression I don’t like to use very often, but I will in this case as Ted is definitely worthy of it and that expression is: this film has heart. And that heart is derived predominantly from the relationship between John and Ted. This is one of the best “bromances” I have seen onscreen, as the two of them are not only so funny together but also so damn cute together! Ted is one of the cutest characters I have ever seen since that little girl from Monster Inc. To illustrate my point, here’s a picture:

No one could stay mad at that face!

John and Ted have many moments in the film where the comedy takes a backseat and they bond as lifelong friends, and it is very touching. We’ve all had to “grow up” at some point in our lives, but to see it happening when your childhood is a living, breathing thing makes it all the more heartbreaking. All of this is achieved through both the talent of Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane to be able to create such a believable connection between an actor and a visual effect, and from the quality of the visual effect itself. Ted looks amazing, as the picture above can show, and he never looks like he isn’t present. He actually looks like he was there on set, and he fully interacts with his environment. Suffice to say, the special effects team were amazing.

Ted is certainly not a comedy for everyone. I don’t know if I could recommend it to my parents for example (though they have surprised me in the past!), and there are people out in the world who are genuinely offended by any kind of rude or crass humour. Some, but not many, of the jokes can be a little esoteric and there were a few poop jokes that were chuckle worthy but not tear worthy; but no comedy is tear-jerkingly hilarious one hundred percent of the time. But if you are someone who isn’t deterred by those sorts of things then Ted is compulsory viewing. It is the best comedy I have seen in a long time.
See you next time!

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