The trailer for Ted was promising – a grown man with a teddy bear that is well and truly alive is intriguing enough on its own…but a teddy bear that drinks beer, swears like a sailor and invites prostitutes back to the apartment? Surely a recipe for a raucous comedy.
Not necessarily so. Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame wrote, directed and starred (as the voice of Ted) in this film and perhaps it actually needed a bit of outside influence to really become something good. As it is, only 1 in 5 of the plentiful jokes are truly funny; Mark Wahlberg as Ted’s owner, John Bennett and everyman character, remains a just passable actor, and Mila Kunis as his long-suffering girlfriend is given nothing of any substance to really work with. We know from That ’70s Show and Friends With Benefits that she is an incredibly competent comedic actor – given the right material to work with. But here, her character is really nothing more than something pretty to look at.
Ted himself is sometimes a funny little character – he is the best friend that every girlfriend disapproves of mixed in with being an inappropriate 3-in-a-bed ‘thunder buddy’. He gets high at 9am, tweets while he’s driving and and swears at children. He should be more funny than he is and it’s disappointing that he isn’t. Having said that, my expectation that this would be a light-hearted romantic comedy about a man learning to give up his bear didn’t allow for the unexpected star of the movie – an actor who never lets me down, the utterly charming Giovanni Ribisi. His slightly psychotic Ted-obsessed fan is both creepy and hilarious and really is the main attraction of this otherwise middle-of-the-road film. His dancing scene alone is nearly worth the cost of the movie theatre ticket. Nearly.
Neither particularly enjoyable or offensively bad, watch Ted if you’ve nothing better to do but definitely wait for the DVD.