October 23, 2014
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Ted
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:
John (Mark Wahlberg) hangs out with his best friend, Ted (voiced by Seth McFarlane), in "Ted."

* * (Joyce)

(Politically incorrect, perverse comedy)

There are some very funny moments in Seth MacFarlane's fantasy about a teddy bear who walks, talks and performs some pretty gross acts.

MacFarlane, a RISD grad and the brains behind the equally perverse TV shows "Family Guy,” American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show,” scores some hilarious scenes but unfortunately sinks to the lowest of lows to get a laugh. I'm sorry, but I don't think that jokes about 9/11, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's diseases are funny.

Too bad, because the concept of a man growing up with a talking teddy bear can be really clever.

The movie begins with a voiceover by Patrick Stewart, telling the tale of little John Bennett (a hilarious Mark Wahlberg), who has no friends until he gets a teddy bear from his parents for Christmas. Little Johnny makes a wish that his new teddy could talk and his wish comes true.

Switch to 27 years later. John and Ted are still living together, having taken a vow that they would always be there for each other. Their lifestyle consists of drinking, drugs, sex and watching TV. Their constant patter can be funny when it doesn't sink too far below the belt.

Laurie, John's girlfriend of four years (Mila Kunis) is showing signs of frustration, as John often puts Ted ahead of her and shows little ambition in growing up and getting a decent job. Ted becomes something of a celebrity, appearing on the Johnny Carson Show, posing for pictures with young ladies and being the life of many parties.

Push comes to shove, and after the couple comes home to an orgy, Laurie puts pressure on John to grow up and find an apartment for Ted. Ted moves out, gets a job in a supermarket and constantly calls John. At one point, John leaves a party at Laurie's lecherous boss' house to meet his longtime idol, Sam Jones. That's the last straw for Laurie.

Giovanni Ribisi has a small role as an obsessed parent who kidnaps Ted for his son, which leads to a wild chase through the streets of Boston, ending up in Fenway Park. Of course, this brings John and Laurie back together again.

There are some great shots of the streets and landmarks of Boston and some unbelievable animatronics with Ted, who looks like a real living teddy bear. MacFarlane is Ted's voice.

Rated a big R, with some disgusting bathroom humor, much profanity, sex, drugs and all-around grossness.

There are an R-rated and a General Audience preview on this one, so be warned. This is not a movie for kids, although there were kids with their parents in the audience. One mother, knowing the R rating, brought her 14-year-old son and his friend. What was she thinking?


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