Review: ‘Ted’ is one of summer’s greatest guilty pleasures

Michael Bragg

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

One of the summer’s funniest and most irreverent comedies makes its way to I.G. Greer this weekend.

“Ted,” the product of imagination and first major motion picture from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, tells the story of Boston native John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and his best friend from childhood, Ted (MacFarlane), a teddy bear that comes to life after Bennett makes a Christmas wish that his newly acquired bear and best friend can actually talk.

Throughout the movie, though, their friendship hits a few rough patches.

Bennett’s long-time girlfriend Lori Collins (Mila Kunis) wants Ted to move out so the two of them can settle down. And a creep named Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) followed the fame of Ted since he was a kid – because a talking teddy bear is definitely going to attract some attention – and when trying to buy Ted off Bennett for his son fails, Donny steals Ted. Bennett and Collins collaborate through a rocky relationship to get the talking bear back in safety.

“Ted” is typical MacFarlane. It is quirky, smart, references the 1980s in some way and is insanely crude.

The movie caught some flack for a joke made by Wahlberg’s character. In the scene, Bennett tells Collins’ boss just how he feels about his flirtatious attitude toward his girlfriend.

“From one man to another, I hope you get Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” Bennett said.

A lot of people were offended – and for good reason – since Lou Gehrig’s disease is traumatic and incurable.
But seriously, it’s a movie about a pot smoking, alcoholic and promiscuous talking teddy bear from the same minds that brought you “Family Guy,” for Christ’s sake.

Don’t go into a Rated-R film thinking you won’t be offended.

But aside the little bit of drama the film brought, it was one of this summer’s standout films and is incredibly enjoyable. From watching Ted interacting with people in everyday situations while still in his place as an inanimate object that just so happens to be alive to the hilarious and unforgettable scene where Bennett and Ted fight each other in a motel room.

Are you really going to pass on a movie where Mark Wahlberg gets into an intense fight with a teddy bear?

The movie pulls a lot of talent from MacFarlane’s past endeavors, including Kunis who does the voice of Meg on “Family Guy,” Patrick Warburton who plays a sexually confused guy in Bennett’s office and does the voice of Joe on “Family Guy” and the narration of the film is done by Patrick Stewart, who did cameos in “Family Guy” and had a regular role in “American Dad,” another cartoon series by MacFarlane.

Singer Norah Jones and actor Ryan Reynolds also make an appearance in the film.

“Ted” plays at I.G. Greer Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $1.

Rating: Three out of four stars.

Story: MICHAEL BRAGG, A&E Editor