After seeing the movie Ted, the first thing that came to mind was: People are either gonna love it or hate it. As a Family Guy fan who isn't at all above laughing at vulgar humor, I fell in the former category, but I also understand if one audience is ROLFing while the other maintains an awkward silence. It's that kind of movie.
It's got staples of Seth MacFarlane everywhere -- and people either love or hate him. But as a child of the '80s who had plenty of imaginary conversations with stuffed animals (have I said too much?), there was a charming story I could relate to underneath the R-rated, low-brow jokes (watch the trailer to see what I mean). Though the plot is already spelled out for you in the trailer and the run-time of 104 minutes is rather long, I for one was thoroughly entertained by Ted.
Some mild spoilers after the jump! If you'd rather not know, watch the trailer again and go see the movie for yourself.
With a Christmas Story-esque yet profanity-laced opening narration by Patrick Stewart, he tells the story of a lonely young boy (who even the Jewish kid makes fun of) who wishes for his plush new teddy bear to magically come to life. Lo and behold, when he wakes up the next morning, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) is alive.
Ted becomes a celebrity overnight -- no Calvin & Hobbes tricks here -- but like many '80s stars before him, he becomes a hapless, pot-smoking, drug-using lost soul who can't seem to escape that wonderful, more innocent decade, dragging his buddy, John (Mark Wahlberg, who I always forget is this charming), down with him. John's hot and successful girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) forces John to kick Ted out after catching him with some hookers -- and a surprise on the floor that won't soon be erased from my mind.
And then we get a whirlwind of plot, from Ted finding an apartment and job to a rage guest-starring one of John's childhood heroes to a Norah Jones concert to a kidnapping (with Giovanni Ribisi as the one-dimensional, cliche, rather unnecessary villain) to a car chase. It's an unoriginal, thin storyline -- but if that's a nod to childhood films of the '80s or pure laziness, I can't decide. But hey, not all movies can be as original and complex as Inception, and Ted never tries to be.
Regardless, I'll fully admit to being immature enough to laugh throughout this movie. The computer effects bringing Ted to life are simply amazing. He's so cute and plush and cuddly with his expressive, block-like eyebrows, until he opens his mouth or grabs a boob or smokes his bong, but he made me remember all of my stuffed animals who were my best friends as a kid. And you can't help but love Ted, even with his epic fight with John (Peter Griffin fighting the chicken, anyone?), pop culture-infused one-liners, and political incorrectness.
So, in all, the film was a refreshingly original take on a grown man in a strange bromance having to let go and not being able to grow up. It's clever, obscene, weird, perverse, and funny -- and I can't wait to see it again to catch even more of the '80s references I missed the first time.
Do you want to see Ted? Are you a Seth MacFarlane fan?
Image via TedIsReal.com