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Born and raised around Boston, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane took long enough to enter the realm of the feature film world. Having written the animated TV series for the past 14 years, he's now graced us with the presence of “Ted," a powerfully hilarious rookie effort for the widely acclaimed artist who we know so well from providing us with Peter Griffin’s voiceover.
MacFarlane uses his wonderful impression skills to personify a kid’s best friend in the form of a teddy bear, doing the voiceover for the character conveniently named Ted. Our furry friend is introduced as a sweet-talking, huggable, loveable stuffed animal – but that’s not the real point of his presence.
No, contrary to any idiots out there that think he is supposed to be an imaginary friend or a hallucinatory vision of the other main characters’ friend, Ted’s only point in the plot is to party and keep his owner John’s mind at the level of a twelve year-old's so that he is forever scared of thunderstorms and fascinated by B-movies.
The climax builds as you realize that the fight for John’s eternal loyalty lies between one of the most beautiful women in the world and the spunkiest teddy bear you’ll ever meet. Lori (played by Mila Kunis) insists that John (Mark Wahlberg) must choose between her and the stuffed animal because Ted prevents him from ever growing up. The dynamic duo of man child + stuffed animal take incessant bong hits, watch “Flash Gordon” repetitively and together hold John back from ever being promoted at his job as a struggling employee at a car rental center.
John is a personification of writer/director Seth MacFarlane – who himself can’t seem to grow up despite creating the never-ending success of a TV show that he did with "Family Guy." In that aspect, “Ted” is a very personal film. MacFarlane wants to know why a man can’t be considered grown up if he smokes a bunch of pot, makes silly voices and decides to (maybe) do blow at a party if Sam Jones is there and entices him to do it.
Considering its insistence on glorifying the aspects of immaturity, does “Ted” really have anything everlasting to say, then? Probably not, but it’s surely a comedy worth watching if you’re raunchy enough to be able to handle farts, boobies and jizz jokes. It is going to be interesting to see if, when MacFarlane makes another film, whether or not he’ll be allowed more freedom in the creation of it – because “Ted” seems at times to be a little bit too structured for his liking. Regardless, it’s certainly going to make people laugh, but it will also surely upset the ignorant mother and son who strolled into the theater thinking they were seeing a kid's movie about a teddy bear named "Ted."
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