Movie Review: ‘Ted’



Davalyn Stepzinski

For a film about the bond between a man and his childhood teddy bear filled with crude guy jokes, weed, and terrible old television show references, there’s actually a good story in there.

Honestly, I thought the premise for this movie was pretty creative when I first heard it coming out, and I’m not even a fan of Seth MacFarlane. In fact, I can only take an episode of Family Guy on occasion, meaning maybe once every few months. The closest I get to being a fan of MacFarlane’s work, is throwing it back to “Dexter’s Laboratory” of which he was a writer for 26 episodes, according to his biography on the Internet Movie Database. Seeing as that was in the late 90’s, I think it’s safe to say I’m not speaking with much bias, as much as I respect the guy for becoming a powerhouse of comedy and accumulating an extremely large fan base.

So when I saw the trailers and realized it was his creative genius, I was surprised by my interest. I let that carry me to the theatre, almost reluctantly, but I honestly have to admit that I enjoyed it.

My reasoning though, is mainly due to the cleverness of the idea and the way it is executed in his typical fashion; it follows the same sort of plot as one of his television shows, pulling from aspects of pop culture, college life, and what men supposedly talk about when the women are not around. Underneath all the usual jokes, is the story of a man afraid to grow up entirely and take responsibility for the things he does and actually really become an adult.

In so many words, “Ted” is the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and how when he was a little boy (Bretton Manley) he had no friends. In an opening sequence reminiscent of “A Christmas Story,” we see his parents gift him “Ted” (voiced by MacFarlane) and how a simple wish brings him to life. They become instant best friends and that brings us to the main part of the film, where John is now in his 30’s and in a relationship with the driven Lori Collins (Mila Kunis). With John spending the majority of his time with the now vulgar Ted and the rest in a rather dull job, it’s no wonder that Lori is having doubts about their four-year relationship.

The funny thing about “Ted” is that while it is disguised as a ‘man’s comedy,’ it’s really a coming of age story about how you are the only one in charge of your life. Seriously, it’s about a guy that is still clinging to his security blanket because he assumes he can never make any more friends than Ted. With that sort of self-esteem, John only barely manages to meet Lori, and it’s a wonder she sticks around when John seems to be stuck almost always making the wrong decision when faced to choose between Lori and Ted. Often, it results in some hilarious situations, but there are also some that are funny in a dark sadistic type way. Regardless, there’s heart to this movie and judging by the amount of cooing I heard from the women in the packed audience, MacFarlane did what he could to please both sexes. So it’s not entirely just for the guys, even if it’s being marketed that way.

There were a few things that did bother me though, one being Wahlberg’s Bostonian accent. As someone whose family is from Boston, it was slightly obnoxious. I fail to understand if that was the point, but it got a little too cutesy-sounding sometimes. We know he’s a boy trapped in a man’s body, but he doesn’t have to sound like one all the time. There is also another plot-line in the film that I won’t spoil, but just know that it derails early on and becomes something that I thought was completely absurd when it reaches its conclusion at the end. I know that MacFarlane likes to take things far and go for as many laughs as he can, but this particular part didn’t translate well for me, especially since the film has been operating on a certain level of realism with making an effort to explain how Ted managed to become a part of society. Therefore to end using this plot-line felt like something of a cop-out.

For that reason, I have to say that the ending was less than brilliant.

However the rest of the movie is something to see, give and take a few outrageous moments. There are some great jokes in here that will make new and old fans chuckle as well as some that while tasteless, will force a smile on your face.

For that, I have to recommend “Ted.” If you’re still on the fence though, just make sure to watch for it on DVD.

Visit for more information.