If you are familiar with Seth MacFarlane‘s style of humour (mainly Family Guy (1999 – ?)) and you like it, then Ted is for you. I remember watching it when it came out and being almost surprised how the movie is more story-driven rather than joke-driven, which is something I’ve come to expect from him. While re-watching it a few weeks ago (back to back with Ted 2 (2015)), it jumped out even more, mainly contrasting those two films up against each other.
Ted is a simple story about a teddy bear who comes alive because of a boy’s wish. This simple premise got the “MacFarlane” treatment, where this gentle, innocent idea goes from there (first ten minutes of this film) to what would happen to that teddy bear later on? When his buddy is growing up, going through puberty, and ultimately becoming an adult…? Well, this movie will answer that for you.
I liked the fact that we got to know Ted’s story in this montage, where we see everything. From his rise to fame to the inevitable crash to the bottom. But the movie isn’t interested in that journey, hence why we only get that one montage. Because the rest of the film is more about Ted living his life, while he is no longer “the curiosity”. Everybody is aware of talking, living teddy bear going around, so people are no longer surprised to see him. Talking teddy bear? That’s old news. I liked that aspect of it.
The casting surprisingly worked for me. Mark Wahlberg is funnier than I thought. Let’s face it, back in 2012, he wasn’t known for his comedic chops, but I need to give credit where credit is due, as his casting was perfect in this movie. Also, he makes a believable couple with Mila Kunis, who plays the “straight” role. She isn’t that funny in this film, as she is the “board” others can bounce the jokes out of. So she might not be “as funny”, but she is equally important, as she grounds the film. She gives the movie stakes (her relationship with Mark’s character is the catalyst that kick starts the plot), and a big chunk of the film only works if you believe her character and understand where she is coming from. And she nailed it. Giovanni Ribisi almost stole this film, as his creepy Donny was hilarious, and you could tell he was having a blast with that character. And of course, Seth casting himself as the voice of the Ted was spot on, even though it was just mostly his voice. But he’s so good I didn’t mind.
The only thing that I can hold against this film is the simple fact of how formulaic it is. For such a unique and original concept, you wouldn’t expect the movie to follow the stereotypical comedic structure. Where the first hour consists (mostly) of jokes, then there is a fight, some action scene, a moment where it seems all is lost, but not really, the end. I am not saying Seth should have re-invented the comedy genre, no. All I am saying is, it is a bit weird, having a film like this, where if you were to strip down the unique premise, it’s just your run of the mill comedy. It’s still a great one, though.
Overall, your enjoyment of Ted will be equal to how much you like Seth’s style of humour. I, personally, am one of those people who have watched every single Family Guy episode and will continue to watch the new season(s). So yes, I am on board with everything this guy does. If you are too, I can’t imagine Ted would disappoint you. But if you don’t fancy humour that is a bit rough around the edges, you might want to choose something more traditional.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,