by Brian Peterson
Without Restrictions from the FCC, Seth MacFarlane Bears All
Synopsis: Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of Ted. In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…and has refused to leave his side ever since. — (C) Universal
After watching Seth Macfarlane’s “Ted,” I can’t help but think that this movie is a game changer…for Build-A-Bear. I now fully expect to see an assembly line of pot-smoking teddy bears engaging in torrid sex with store employees who go home at night, only to complain to their significant others about bad backs and rug burned foreheads.
In an ever-expanding market where crossover stories like “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” are big business, it surprises me that this movie wasn’t called “Timothy Treadwell Teddy Bear Talker” because what you’re seeing is a crossover of Macfarlane’s The Family Guy combined with the hilarious antics of Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man. Having said that, “Ted” makes for sumptuously salacious cinema that delves into a world of sex, drugs, and plushophilia. As stated in the aforementioned statement above, this is essentially the movie Grizzly Man with Seth Macfarlane’s graffiti all over it.
The star of the film belongs to Mark Wahlberg’s character, John Bennet, who as an eight-year-old boy wishes his teddy bear into existence on a fateful Christmas Eve due to his inability to create friendships with the neighborhood kids. Upon awakening, he is overjoyed to discover that his bear has come to life, fulfilling his wish of having a friend for life. Fast forward nearly two decades later, and John is suffering from a quarter-life crisis thanks largely in part to his lifelong commitment to the tumultuous teddy bear that spends its days getting baked, having sex with hookers, and watching old Cheers reruns.
John’s life really begins to hit a snag when problems arise with his live-in girlfriend Lori, played by the beautiful Mila Kunis. As a successful television executive, she’s tired of seeing John sapped of motivation thanks to his Corduroy conundrum. She urges him to rethink his life as well as his allegiances to his lifelong friend, who is making it difficult for her and John to have any semblance of a normal life. What ultimately awaits is a “it’s him or me” cliché issued by Lori that forces Ted out of the apartment and into the hustle and bustle of city life.
With a clock in time just over an hour and 45 minutes long, Ted is a movie rife with racial one-liners, nauseating sexual romps, and steeped in Flash Gordon gaudiness. Ted can also stake claim to one the greatest pooh jokes (Not of the Winnie variety) of all time. My father asked me, “Are you going to see Ted this week?” To which I replied, “Does a wild bear sh** in the woods?” He responded with, “Not if it’s in the arctic, it sh**s on the tundra.”
Final Word – 3 Stars