Upon seeing the trailer for Seth MacFarlane’s first foray into film writing and directing, “Ted”, a few months ago, I immediately thought to myself, “Oh man, this is going to be great.” Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give Seth MacFarlane a giant round of applause. Not only is the man a comical genius in the television arena (his hit series “Family Guy” is hilarious), but he has now successfully crossed the threshold into movies, and does so with panache. I was slightly worried “Ted” might turn out to be one of those movies where all the funny parts are in the previews, and the movie itself leaves something to be desired. Mr. MacFarlane, I should not have doubted you. “Ted” is a hit, and is sure to become a cult classic that will join the ranks of “Grandma’s Boy” and “Knocked Up” as an awesome stoner movie, spawning catchphrases aplenty.
“Ted” is the story of John (Mark Wahlberg), a little boy growing up outside of Boston who inexplicably cannot make a single friend. On Christmas Day, he receives a teddy bear, whom he creatively dubs Teddy. John is overjoyed to have a new friend, and that night he makes a wish that Teddy were alive so they could be best friends forever. According to the narrator, nothing is more powerful than a boy’s wish, and when John wakes up the next morning, he finds that Teddy is alive. After the initial shock, John can’t believe his luck, and so begins a lifelong journey of two friends, a boy and his teddy bear. Fast forward to present day: John is 35, working at a car rental company, and living with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) and of course, Ted.
Over the next hour and forty-five minutes, nothing but hilarity ensues as John and Ted deal with Lori’s smarmy boss (Joel McHale); a clearly deranged fan of Ted’s (an awesome Giovanni Ribisi) who will stop at nothing to have Ted to himself; and the tension that always having Ted around puts on John and Lori’s long-term relationship. At almost two hours, this movie had every possibility of hitting low points and losing steam. But we’re dealing with Seth MacFarlane here: and boy, does this man know what he is doing. This movie is consistently clever, entertaining, and interesting, and successfully held my attention for the duration. The storyline may at times be somewhat predictable, but the movie in general is refreshing: it’s nice to finally see quality, original writing amongst so many sequels and remakes.
If you see one movie this summer, make it “Ted”. This is one stuffed animal that won’t let you down.