Film Review: Ted

Those familiar with the level of crassness associated with Seth MacFarlane will be greatly amused and entertained by Ted. Occasionally close to the bone, Ted is nevertheless very funny.

As a child, John Bennett wishes that his teddy bear would come to life. When that wish comes true, John is the happiest boy in the world. As an adult, John is still best friends with Ted. John and Ted’s friendship is tested when John’s girlfriend Lori wants more from their relationship…

Ted offers a premise that most children would dream of; a cherished teddy bear coming to life. Despite this childhood wish fulfilment, and indeed the amusing opening gambit, MacFarlane’s film offers the flipside to what could have been an enchanting tale. John has to deal with Ted as an adult, a bear who appears to be stuck in perpetual adolescence while John needs to mature for the sake of his relationship. Whilst Ted is an amusing and affable character, it would be a hard sell to describe him as cute and cuddly.

The jokes in Ted are frequent, and hit the mark the vast majority of the time. Seth MacFarlane’s imprint is all over the film; fans of Family Guy will recognise several facets. There are plenty of references, particularly to 1980s popular culture. There are also some great cameos in the film.

The more emotional content of Ted works surprisingly well, most likely because it is couched by humour instead of becoming indulgently sentimental. The narration at the beginning of the film is a fantastic introduction, and a good indicator of the type of humour that viewers can expect. Mark Wahlberg shows off his comedy skills as John. Mila Kunis is as watchable as ever as Lori. Voicing Ted, MacFarlane’s voice brings life and personality to the character.