Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ted Review

I, like everyone else, enjoys my share of comedies.  Specifically "R"-rated comedies.  After The Hangover changed the comedic landscape so many years ago, I can't help but feel let down when a comedy is hindered by its lower rating.  Now, I'm not saying that every film needs nudity or incredibly crude language, but those tend to be the most memorable and enjoyable, for me.  Perhaps they just feel the most real.  The amazing show Louie can be very crude and vulgar at times, but it feels completely and wholly real.  Its a bit funny that I'm talking about how "real" something can feel when I'm discussing a film with a magical, talking stuffed bear, but while Ted is a vulgar, rude, crude comedy, at its heart are characters that feel very real and very relatable.

I unconditionally love Ted.  I'm well aware that there will be plenty of people out there that won't love Ted.  It very much feels like the humor of an Adam McKay film mixed with some of the random humor of Family Guy.  This is, after all, the directorial debut of that show's creator, Seth MacFarlane (who wrote, directed, and starred).  For a freshman effort, MacFarlane knocks it out of the ballpark in all three of those respects.  Ted is very, very funny and contains some moments of pure comedic genius (namely a fantastic scene involving Flash Gordon) that left me laughing well after the story had moved on.

For the most part, the characters in Ted were funny, relatable, and enjoyable to watch.  Mark Wahlberg continues to be one of my favorite actors to watch on screen.  Yes, he may not have the range of other in Hollywood, but I tend to enjoy watching him no matter the role (The Fighter, Contraband, The Other Guys..you name it) and his John Bennett goes through something that we all have to face in life - giving up our childhood and growing up.  A young John wishes that his stuffy teddy bear, Ted, would come to life and be his best friend...and that happened.  Ted became an overnight celebrity, bringing small fame to him and John.  They grew up and still live together over twenty years later.  John's girlfriend, Lori (played wonderfully by Mila Kunis), wants their relationship to move on - without Ted.

The rest of the narrative plays out quite conventionally with twists and turns that you'll see coming a mile away.  Ted does not attempt to do anything daring or new with the tried-and-true comedic formula.  At the end of the day I don't really care about that.  What I do care about is whether I had fun watching the film and I sure as hell did.  Ted is one of the most enjoyable experiences I had with a film in recent memory.  The novelty of a pot-smoking, hooker-loving talking teddy bear did not wear off in the least.  Much like last year's Paul, the animation on the digital character was pretty good (for a non-sci fi film) and downright impressive at times.

There really isn't that much else to say about Ted.  If you enjoy comedies like Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and The Hangover you'll probably have a blast with Ted.  If you don't..then you'll probably walk away shaking your head.  I say just give it a shot.  As much I loved this year's 21 Jump Street, for me, Ted is the comedy to beat.

Ted is an incredibly funny and entertaining comedy that has a heart at its core.

The Bearded Bullet

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