CliqueClack Flicks

Ted – Funny, crude but cliched

Ted - Theater Review
Release Date: 06/29/2012 - MPAA Rating: R
Clacker Rating: 3 Clacks

'Ted' is a buddy comedy/romantic comedy with an exceptionally cliched plot, but is elevated by a lot of crude humor and amusing performances.

Does a stuffed bear cursing inherently make you laugh? Is it unequivocally funny? Do you even need any actual original plot? These are the questions raised by Ted, the new movie from first-time movie writer/director Seth MacFarlane, who previously was only involved in animated television programs.

Ted tells the story of young John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg), a lonely and picked on kid from a Boston suburb, who has no friends at all. But then on one Chrismas eve, John makes a wish on a shooting star that his new teddy bear (a holiday gift) could really talk and be his friend forever. The next morning, “Teddy” (John isn’t exactly the most creative sort) has shockingly come to life, and he’s an instant celebrity — but is still best friends with John. Many years later, an adult John is living with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) and a sort of “grown up” version of Ted (voice of Seth MacFarlane).

But oh dear, it seems that Ted is a screwup party animal, and is “keeping down” John and preventing him from “growing up.” So basically this becomes a classic “Girlfriend of loser guy wants him to stop associating with even worse friend and hijinks ensue” tale. There is a standard twist, with Lori’s boss (Joel McHale) wanting to steal her, and a less standard one where creepy fan Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) really wants to buy Ted. Lori wants Ted to move out, and he does — but of course, there’s plenty more dramatic situations to enjoy. Before the (redacted for spoilers) ending of course.

Much of the humor of the movie comes from good ol’ classic Incongruous Juxtaposition — if you think the idea of a stuffed bear cursing and smoking weed is funny, you will adore this movie. There are plenty of cameos (some MacFarlane mainstays, plus one or two surprises) and some decently honest moments between the couple. The writing is pretty clever, but there are a few extremely racist jokes that just made me uncomfortable (although some folks might laugh ironically or non-ironically at them). Zounds of pop culture references abound, as to be expected from something from MacFarlane. The joke of the filthy stuffed animal isn’t stale by the end of the movie, although it’s really exceptionally predictable.

There are attempts at “heart” that are … somewhat successful. It’s a funny movie in general, although very, very crude — enjoy that R rating, it’s all about the language here (no nudity or violence). Maybe next time we can have a movie about a stuffed rapping broccoli.


Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

One Response to “Ted – Funny, crude but cliched”

July 5, 2012 at 11:22 PM

hehehe, like the idea of a stuffed rapping broccoli.

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