Ted Review

Do you remember what kind of child you used to be?

You know, before this world taught you to stop listening to your heart and start listening to the all singing, all dancing crap that gets pumped into our heads 24/7?

Well I do, and so does John Bennett.

You see, John wasn’t like the other kids.

And despite his best efforts, he never found it easy to fit in with everyone else when he was growing up.

Even the Jewish boy who let all the other neighbourhood kids pick on him wouldn’t let John get in a solitary, sly punch.
So when his parents got him one of those talking teddy bears for Christmas, John wished that his new best friend would come to life; so they could be best friends for real.

The thing about boy’s like John is magical things tend to happen around them.

So when he wakes the next day to find his teddy bear was moving and talking just like a real boy, it’s strangely unsurprising.

That, and Seth MacFarlane really wouldn’t have had anywhere to go with Ted if he hadn’t.

Twenty seven years later, having survived the eighties and experienced all the highs and lows that come with being the world’s only real life teddy bear, John and Ted are still best buds.

Their pastimes may have changed somewhat, as hiding from thunder and bedtime stories have been replaced with, well, drugs, alcohol and hookers.

For Ted at least.

But the bond they shared when they were young is just as strong now.

How long can these two thunder buddies stay the way they are before one of them decides to grow up though?

Ted is the brand new film from Family Guy funny man Seth MacFarlane, and serves up an even more twisted take on the multi-talented star’s warped ideas on childhood institutions.

Instead of giving cartoons an adult makeover though, this time MacFarlane has another childhood staple in his sights.
The teddy-bear.

Half the fun of comedies lies in not knowing where the laughs are coming from, so all I’ll say about Ted is it’s the funniest straight up comedy I’ve seen in years.

Dark comedy’s like the pitch perfect Young Adult are all the rage nowadays, and with good reason.

But there’s something about watching some good ol’ slapstick that just can’t be beat for fun and laugh out loud moments.

And that’s certainly what MacFarlane delivers with Ted.

Mark Wahlberg plays John Bennett, at least the middle aged version of the guy, while Mila Kunis shakes off her dowdy Meg persona from Family Guy to play her real life hotness as John’s emotionally frustrated girlfriend Lori.

There are any number of recognisable faces and voices that make up the excellent supporting cast; some more famous than others, but all of them are happy and willing to send themselves up in the name of comedy.

But it’s MacFarlane who draws the biggest laughs as the voice of Ted.

As ever, it’s a simple enough sounding formula Macfarlane employs; lower your audience’s guard with a symbol of childhood innocence before hitting them over the head with a frying pan full of violence, drugs and the most inappropriate use of liquid soap I’ve ever seen.

But it’s brilliantly done and the perfect cinematic antidote for an unnamed summer blockbuster that takes itself far too seriously.

I guess it’s easy to forget the hopes and ambitions we used to have as kids, and Ted won’t help make any of those dreams come true.

But Seth MacFarlane’s first major movie might just make you laugh so hard, you’ll cry like a baby.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

August 2012