With Ted, the creator of Family Guy decides to take his talents to the big screen and quite frankly it is one big hit. Seth MacFarlane does a terrific job in his directorial debut and creates what may just be the funniest movie of the year. No doubt he made things easier on himself by bringing along everyone from his incredibly talented cast from Family Guy. Mila Kunis, Alex Borstein, and Patrick Warburton join MacFarlane and all have some hilarious scenes. MacFarlane wrote the script with fellow Family Guy colleagues Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. Mark Wahlberg even manages to bring a friend of his along for the fun in Giovanni Ribisi who plays a creepy sexual deviant. The fact that every one of the actors have some sort of familiarity with each other helps as they all have good chemistry with one another. For instance, Kunis and Wahlberg were the lead characters on the movie Max Payne. Also, this film has two things that I never thought I'd see Wahlberg involved in. One, it is a coming of age story that is very different from the normal stories of that ilk. Secondly, I never thought I'd see the day where Wahlberg gets beat up by a teddy bear.
The plot follows John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and follows him from his depressing childhood as the kid who had no friends. One Christmas morning his parents buy him a teddy bear to be his best friend and on that night he wishes that the bear could really talk to him. Little did John know that the most powerful kind of magic comes from a little boy's wish. The next morning Ted (Seth MacFarlane) is born but as the two best friends grow up, they fail to do just that. Instead, they would much rather party and smoke all day. This frequently puts a strain on John's relationship with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) but she struggles with separating John from his best friend because she knows how much they both mean to each other.
Ted's antics begin to really wear on Lori's nerves and John agrees to have Ted move out. John helps him get a job to make sure that he can make ends meet on his own. Lori hopes with Ted gone that John can make an easier transition to his adult life. However, John still sneaks out on a daily basis to see Ted and party with him. It catches up with John, and does not sit well with Lori but she continues to give him another opportunity to prove that he is ready to be an adult. Ted gets a job at a grocery store, although he tried his hardest to screw up the interview, and meets a cashier that he begins to date. Everything begins to twirl out of control when John once again sneaks out to a party at Ted's. The film begins to get predictable from here on out, but is saved by the constant laughs thanks to the tremendous cast.
This has been a down year in comedies, but as of now it is easy to say that Ted is the comedy of the year. It has plenty of laughs and has all of the predictable beats off a romantic or even newly coined "bro-mance" film. The two leads have a falling out, but through some big romantic gesture or overly cheesy moment the two come back together and while Ted has these moments you can almost forget about them due to the laughs. The laughs came early and often but the only downside is that some of the best scenes were already in the trailer which can take away from the overall viewing experience of the film. MacFarlane does a great job of both directing and portraying the foul mouthed pot smoking teddy bear. Thanks to some great motion capture technology, MacFarlane's facial expressions as Ted managed to make me completely forget that it was actually a teddy bear. It's life like demeanor made me honestly think it was real. Wahlberg does a good job in comedy roles, albeit he doesn't do many at all. He is a gifted actor with great comedic timing and the same can be said for Kunis. In this kind of movie, it helps that Wahlberg is a likable actor, otherwise his character could completely lose people in the hands of a lesser actor. His character is quite frankly a loser and thanks to Wahlberg you manage to still care for the character. This film also made me realize how strange it is that Kunis plays the awkward character know as Meg on Family Guy. It is stunning to see someone that beautiful be the voice actor for such an unattractive character. Kunis does a great job in the role of Lori albeit, her character is not a complex one. The film also benefits from a good cast of supporting actors like Patrick Warburton as John's co-worker, Joel McHale as Lori's sleazy boss, Patrick Stewart as the Narrator alongside some other unexpected cameos. All together it creates a funny film but I can name a few films from last year that were funnier.
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