The 2012 film Ted, from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, is a unique comedic experience about a boy’s wish coming true and never letting it go. In this case, the wish was for a Teddy Bear to come alive. And it does, but it is a very different bear. And it seems that with that wish, the boy never becomes an adult either.
I never thought that the funniest character of 2012 would be a bong-smoking and cashier-humping stuffed animal.
The main questions addressed in Ted are: at what age do we stop playing with childish toys and enter the realm of adulthood? He also addresses the role of friends in serious relationships, or better written, the lack of friendships.
When John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) was a child, he wished his Teddy Bear would talk so he could actually have a friend. Well, the bear came alive and became famous around the country. 27 years later, John and Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) are still very much friends. In a brilliant beginning scene, we get a glimpse into their friendship that resembles a pair of college roommates more than childhood plush: a 9 a.m. “Wake N’ Bake” followed by endless hours of SpongeBob SquarePants and Flash Gordon reruns. The duo seems content with living this childish and slightly pathetic life. Ted obviously can because he is a stuffed bear, but 35-year-old John is just watching life pass by.
Little does John know that his four year relationship with girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) is dwindling do to his idle lifestyle, his close bond with Ted and their psychological and substance-related attachment to each other.
Ted’s plot is fairly simple: A series of attempts for John and Ted to move on and live their own lives. This is in no way a unique plot, but to have a cute stuffed animal character mingling with hookers doing Cocaine with Flash Gordon star Sam J. Jones, it becomes unique. And not to mention the humor that follows.
Running parallel to the pairs attempt to move on combined with the relationship fiasco between John and Lori comes the character of Donny (Giovanni Ribisi). As a presumed single parent, and frighteningly creepy guy, Donny has obsessed over Ted since he was a child. After a botched attempt to buy Ted, he desperately kidnaps him for his equally demented son. The once parallel subplot slowly enters the main plot and presents John with an ultimatum – Ted or Lori – with a shocking answer.
For the Family Guy fans, Ted is an instant hit. It plays like a two hour Family Guy episode with human actors. I assumed the film would be funny, but I had my doubts about MacFarlane’s film debut…I was wrong. Stylistically, it had all the juicy elements that make Family Guy so good and more: the ease of going off topic, the over-the-top action sequences that imitate modern action film and the crude and politically incorrect puns and jokes.
As a Family Guy lover, I was one of those dazzled by this film. It never had a dull moment, it never got too romantic or gooey and it never missed a chance to shell out the laughs. The character of Ted, a mixture of Peter and Brian Griffin from Family Guy, is one you cannot forget. His physical appearance resembles everything a child would love and his personality resembles that of Harold & Kumar with some Dave Chappelle mixed in there.