You’ve done it again MacFarlane! In Seth MacFarlane’s first feature length film, the “Family Guy” creator tells the story of a teddy bear that magically becomes a little boy’s new best friend. John, played later by Mark Wahlberg, is a lonely loser. He is such an outcast that even the other lonely loser kid of the neighborhood hates him. Looking for a friend, John wishes upon a shooting star and suddenly a Peter Griffin-sounding character is born.
“Ted,” surprisingly, was more than just a silly teddy-bear movie in which the plot falls flat. It’s a reassuring story of a man getting his life together by balancing friends, a job, and a love interest.
In a truly MacFarlane way, the pithy one-liners, that truly make the movie, are delivered by MacFarlane himself as the voice of Ted. However, the fact that the only laughable moments are from Ted’s fuzzy mouth does not inspire much confidence in the film’s overall appeal.
For those with a weak constitution for drug references, this is not the film for you! Nearly every scene concerns some kind of drug paraphernalia, which speaks to our tolerance of this kind of humor nowadays. Is that what’s funny now?
Working women may find it disconcerting that the film’s successful woman (Mila Kunis) is dating the bum. As a vice president for a P.R. company, the significant other is expected to reflect that lifestyle. However, let’s applaud MacFarlane for making Kunis the stronger character between her and Wahlberg. Women aren’t weak anymore in films. They are often depicted as the smarter counterpart to the male protagonist, which speaks volumes about our progress as a culture, considering the degradation of women in literature these days (cough, Fifty Shades of Grey).
Overall, the film was entertaining. I did not expect much substance from it going into the theater and was surprised to find a solid plot and plenty of enjoyable characters and twists I did not expect.
Continuing the non-stereotypical element of the film, the two main characters actually get married at the end. Happy endings are always enjoyable but more often than not these days, the couple simply walks off into the sunset. Or there is a dramatic zoom out. Or a cool coffee shop scene in which the couple gets together, talks it out, orders coffee, giggles, and shares an inside joke. Even in romcoms marriage tends not to be the goal these days. So I guess, it’s nice to know Disney endings are coming back in style, albeit from an unlikely place.