Basic Plot: John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) lives in Boston with beautiful girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) who is supportive yet increasingly annoyed at John's immaturity, both in not making a marriage proposal and being an overall slacker. She puts more of the blame, somewhat appropriately, on his talking bear Ted, his best friend and roommate since childhood. John must now choose between his friend and his future, while Ted has to deal with living alone and avoiding a creepy stalker named Donny (Giovanni Ribisi)


To all those wondering if this movie is just a long Family Guy episode, the answer is no. To all of those who are complaining, stating that this movie is just Family Guy then you either don't watch Family Guy, wanted to castrate the movie before even buying your ticket, or hit your head recently. This is closer to a Judd Apatow film, except a bit more vulgar. I could easily see Seth Rogen or Paul Rudd in the lead role, except that it's difficult to see them as believable boyfriends of Mila Kunis. Marky Mark was an underwear model, and he and Kunis have decent chemistry here. What I'm saying is that this is a real comedy and not just a stretched-out episode like The Simpsons Movie. It's a realistic depiction of a romantic relationship as well as a bromance. John and Lori go through normal ups and downs of relationships, dealing with obstacles like bad influences, dead-end jobs, breaking promises and sleazy bosses hitting on the girl. By the same token, John and Ted have a blissfully fun and carefree relationship, the kind you run at the bar when your girlfriend starts the silent treatment. Yet they too have to deal with growing up and accepting responsibility. 


So now that we've established that this is a real movie about legitimate issues, here's the critical question for any comedy: is it funny?


Fuck yes.


The theater I saw this in had everyone from 10 year olds to the middle aged, and everyone was having a ball. The movie is also pretty filthy at parts, with more pot smoking than Pineapple Express, so if you didn't laugh at movies like 40 Year Old Virgin, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Knocked Up, you probably will not be kind to Ted. However, if you want a bust-a-gut laugh riot, this is a good fim for you.

The highlight of the film is every time the titular character opens his mouth. Ted is funnier than Peter Griffin. Griffin often relies on the hilariousness of his facial expressions to get a laugh, because he looks retarded. Ted is just a normal looking stuffed bear, and I think Macfarlane realized he couldn't use the same kind of physical comedy as he did in Family Guy. He does, however, have the advantage of being able to use raunchy content and every TV writer's Holy Grail: the F word. Ted curses like a sailor and, true, there are some moments of physical antics, but the majority of the laughs come from his own witty lines. I would party with Ted in a heartbeat, and just to tempt the viewer more, there is a party scene 2/3 the way through the movie that is nothing short of epic.


There's so much I appreciate this film for doing. For starters, it's funny the whole way through. Most comedies fall hard in the third act, yet Ted keeps everything moving, nailing joke after joke, scene after scene. Even the longer scenes, instead of meandering or not knowing when to quit like in many comedies (see: Forgetting Sarah Marshall), they escalate, becoming more raucous and hilarious until a satisfactory end. Much like the movie as a whole. I was so glad to see the movie start funny, keep the momentum going like a locomotive, and just when you expected the ending to be sappy as hell, it leaves you laughing till the very finale. Even Wahlberg and Kunis deliver good scenes, and in case you're wondering, Wahlberg did the "skanky white girl names" bit without cue cards. That's got to count for something.


I don't want to jerk off the movie too much. There are two small problems I had with the film. First, there are a couple moments that feel like Family Guy. One is an animated sequence and the other is a lengthy, overly intense fight scene. Both of these were short and forgettable and should have simply been scrapped for better material. And if you think this is proof the film is just a long Family Guy episode, please read the 2nd paragraph of this review again. 


And second, the stalker played by Giovanni Ribisi is too damn creepy. I understand he's supposed to be the villain and I'm sure there are sickos like him out there, but there's a point where it isn't entertaining to watch anymore. There's a scene of Ribisi watching a music video in his living room, drinking a juice box and dancing like Jessica Alba from Honey, and it's so disturbing and goes on for so long that it sucks all the leftover laughs from the previous scene like an omnicient vacuum. I think it's debatable whether his character was even necessary in the movie, or at the very least, they should have played his weirdness down a bit.

But don't focus too much on these infinitesimal issues. The movie is absolutely hilarious, and it's the most fun I've in a theater since Superbad. It's funny, crazy, and a damn good time. Go see it.



Best Way to Watch: On a couch with your best friends and each of you bring your favorite stuffed animal as a kid.


Rating: 8/10





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