Who here wants a best friend who will never leave you? Someone you could talk to when no one else is around and has your back every time shit hits the fan. A comrade for booze binges, chasing chicks, and sorting out all those nasty existential dilemmas. Well, that’s exactly the premise behind Family Guy creator and king-of-all-things-asinine Seth Macfarlane’s directorial debut, Ted.
Bear-ly Legal 1 set the gold standard for weird, disturbing furry action.
When the bullied little John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) wishes on Christmas Night that his favorite teddy bear would come to life, he gets what he asks for. They grow up together and are inseparable, and the now-animated Ted (voiced by Macfarlane) gains celebrity status as the very first walking, talking stuffed toy.
Fast forward a few years later and Ted isn’t cute and cuddly anymore. He’s a crass, horny, bong-smoking, beer-guzzling, lazy bag of bones who spends his days getting high and watching Flash Gordon. John on the other hand is in a serious relationship with Lori (Mila Kunis), and when she wants to take things to the next level, changes must be made. Ted has to find a place of his own. But John and Ted's friendship is as tight and loyal as a Catholic schoolgirl, so they swear to be “thunder buddies” for life.
"That Winnie the Pooh is no good. Stay away from him."
Macfarlane is genius for trying out his hand in moviemaking. In what felt like an extended version of a Family Guy episode, he was able to explore the dynamics of this unique bromance. John not wanting to let go of his favorite toy is akin to the Peter Pan syndrome. Here’s a man still hooked on hanging out with his teddy bear when there’s a bodacious babe willing to spend the rest of her life with him.
Although the punch lines are in-your-face ("Oh, where are my manners? Lori, this is Angelique, Heavenly, Charene, and Sauvignon Blanc. I love you girls. Y'know, somewhere out there are four terrible fathers I wish I could thank for this great night!," says Ted while introducing four hookers to Lori) and as unapologetic as any Macfarlane cartoon, the movie has some very warm sensibilities.
Macfarlane employs many of the tricks he uses in his TV shows, like an abundance of cameos, turds, and poking fun at pop culture, and surprisingly they translate smoothly on the silver screen. There are scenes that are a total gross out, like when a prostitute takes a dump on the apartment floor or when John and Ted try cocaine for the very first time. But there are also touching scenes that are still humorous, like Ted and John’s breakup talk at a local aquarium and the flirting scenes between John and Lori.
You know the rule: bring a bear along, but never on the first date.
Though the bromantic angle has been exploited by Hollywood on so many occasions, nothing is better at reminding people of the value of true friendship like a solid buddy flick. And just like its titular character Ted, whose brash and impenitent ways are masked under a cute and cuddly stuffed animal, the movie is really a heartwarming film about friendship disguised as inane laugh-out-loud comedy. See, Seth Macfarlane is genius.