Ted Movie Review
Written by: Johnny Marcondes
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
From the comedic mind of Seth MacFarlane comes Ted, a comedy film surrounding a bromance between a man and his stuffed teddy bear. With a talented cast to help the movie's credibility, including Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane himself, Patrick Stewart doing narration, and Joel McHale. Being the first film to be written, starring and directed by Seth MacFarlane, can the Family Guy creator pull off a full length feature film without the help of his cartoon characters?
A boy and his wish.
Ted follows a lonely eight year old boy named John Bennet, who finds himself at the bottom of the social ladder in his neighborhood. Not having any friends, John is loner with no one to relate too. On year on Christmas John gets a giant stuffed teddy bear in which he names Ted. John ends up making a wish to have Ted come to life so that they could be best friends forever, with the help of a shooting star the dream comes true. Ted's miracle isn't exactly treated kindly at first, being a stuffed bear that now came to life John's parents react as if anyone would in real life. Looking past the fact that their sons toy has come to life, Ted begins to become a celebrity over the years while never losing his love for John. Flash forward twenty-seven years later, John now thirty-five is still best friends and roommates with Ted. Along with Ted, John now has another important person in his life that being his girlfriend Lori. Being stuck in a dead-end job, John and Lori start planning for a possible future together while Lori starts to feel concerned about Ted. Due to Ted's and Johns friendship, Lori feels that in order for John to fully grow up and not be held back he has to part ways with Ted. Over the years Ted has grown from a loveable sweet personality, to a crude and vulgar stoner who constantly puts John in predicaments. While John struggles to get his life under control and prove to his girlfriend that he can be the man she needs, Donny a deranged fan of Ted begins to plot a plan to be with him.
Not your typical bromance.
There have been a number of movies that follow the typical bromance premise, two best friends have a love for each other that gets in the way of their lives. A common premise, but unlike films before it that follow that premise Ted seems to do something unique with it. While you still have the bromance and situations that follow, Ted offers a more emotional and comically well-balanced ride. Seth MacFarlane makes his directorial debut, for his first effort behind the camera MacFarlane delivers both on and off the screen. Even though the film was shot well, there isn't a scene that comes to mind that sticks out visually at least. Fans of MacFarlane's cartoon series Family Guy will instantly fall in love with the films humor. Even the way the story progresses, you can't help but just relate it to the cartoon series. Characters in the film could of easily been removed from the animated series due to their mannerisms and personality. Even though Ted is relatable to Family Guy, don't let the similarities fool. Ted offers more than low brow humor, In it's core Ted is a film driven by emotion. Surprisingly enough Ted tends to draw the audience in making them feel that they're a part of that bromance between John and Ted and not just watching it. While doing so you can't help but get emotionally attached to the film when something upsetting happens. Being a comedy the humor is second to none, keeping the hilarious dialogue between characters extremely consistent, scene by scene Ted is one the best comedy movies to be released in a while. To say that statement is bold, although bold it's true and Ted proves it every chance it gets.
This isn't your kids bear.
Ted being a stuffed bear and with Seth MacFarlane doing all the motion capturing for him, visually the film blends Ted in perfectly. Every scene Ted is in feels natural and never forced, the virtual character interacts with real world objects and characters smoothly. As a viewer you're never left sitting in disbelief due to faulty visuals. The way characters interact with Ted and how he interacts with the world feels so natural that you can't help but become fully immersed in the film. It's safe to say that as a character Ted becomes the fan favorite and best written character, however he isn't the only character worth noting. John is character that is equally as funny as Ted and has more range of emotion. Everyone in the cast has moments that make that character stand out, either through subtle humor or out in the open antics. The character of Lori may not be as comically charming but she is the one character in the film that truly holds it together. With two main characters who are unrealistically able to function in a real world society due to their behaviors, Lori is that one realistic character to balance movie's pace. Having a key role in movie John's life forward and helping him grow as a character, she's rightfully the third main character.
Ted is film that knows what kind of humor it's pushing on the crowd, it's a film that you have to go in expecting to have a good time. Viewers who are easily offended or too uptight to appreciate low brow humor wont find solace in this film. Being the first feature film to be created by Seth MacFarlane it's hard to believe since the cast and film does such a good job at what it tries every time. Each joke is delivered with perfect timing without being clustered together, by doing that the viewer is allowed to breathe and not have jokes be skipped over due to the abundance of them. Never losing its pace in the sense of story telling, Ted is a film that moves reasonably well while still keeping the audience engaged.
As far as comedy movies go this is hands down one of the best to be released in a while. However that doesn't make Ted the perfect comedy movie. Taking into consideration that this is MacFarlane's first feature length movie, there are minor issues. The film tends to use a handful of big names for cameos or characters but they don't always use them to their full potential. Most of the time these cameos are just used in a one to two second joke. Although it should be noted that the cameo by Sam Jones is hands down one of the funniest scenes in the film. Characters such as Rex who's Lori's flirty boss is left underdeveloped in the end, along with a handful of others that showed promise in the beginning. Not every question is answered in the film and leaves you guessing, that doesn't necessarily make Ted a bad film but it holds it from being truly great. For his first effort Seth MacFarlane did a great job, combining comedy with moments of drama perfectly and scenes that are never forgettable. While many who are already fans of MacFarlane will instantly fall in love with the film, those unfamiliar with his work will still have more than plenty to laugh at and enjoy.