85th Academy Awards 2013
Nominated for 1 award.
Nominated for Best Song (“Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” Seth MacFarlane, Walter Murphy).
Watched August 8, 2014.
Guys, I am going to be completely honest. I was dreading this movie. It is one of the last films on my list to watch from the 85th Academy Awards. Let’s just say that Seth MacFarlane and I do not see eye to eye on what constitutes “humor.” By the end of the film, I wasn’t hating my life, although I felt like I had just wasted a little of it. Let’s stop dwelling, though, and jump into the review.
The film starts brilliantly like an old classic Christmas film, complete with snow and a deep voiced narrator, although he tends to swear. The neighborhood kids all hate John Bennett, even the bullied Jewish kid. Everything changes when John receives a giant teddy bear on Christmas morning. That night, he wishes that his bear was alive and that they would be best friends forever. When morning dawns, he discovers a walking, talking bear named Ted who wants nothing more than to be BFFs. Once John’s parents get over their shock a little, Ted becomes a national sensation, appearing all over the news and becoming famous. But, as the film explains, just like everything that becomes famous, Ted is eventually old news, and just like that, Seth MacFarlane and his team made the situation–an alive teddy bear being an accepted member of society–believable.
We come back into their lives several years later. John (Mark Wahlberg) is 35, has a fruitless job at a rental car agency, smokes weed whenever he can, and has been dating his ridiculously gorgeous girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) for four years without a proposal in sight. Ted (Seth MacFarlane) lives with them and frequently brings home hookers or has outrageous parties. Lori is losing her patience, and it seems like Ted is at the root of their relationship woes. After all, will a guy ever grow up if his best friend is a teddy bear?
Perhaps it is because Ted is a toy, but his humor is the most inappropriate and outrageous out of anyone in the film. This cruel irony supposedly makes it even more fun but again, it isn’t my cup of tea and actually makes me dislike the film more. The characters were all right. Watching a grown man child learn to adult (yes, it is a verb) isn’t usually this painful, but John takes an outrageously long time to figure it out. Lori gives him a lot of leash after dating him for four years, but perhaps that’s because her other prospect is her sleazy, arrogant boss.
One thing is for sure, though–anyone who makes a walking, talking teddy bear a believable character in an every-man type of film deserves some credit. I have had friends rave about this film. Some people think it is the funniest thing they have ever seen. I will say that it is outrageous, and yet its level of believability is astounding. The acting is so-so, the humor oddly timed and inappropriate at best, and its story line is, for the most part, predictable. I don’t even remember the song it was nominated for. The believability is the one and only reason I gave this film two stars instead of one.
In reality, this film doesn’t truly stand up to semi-recent classics such as Knocked Up and 21 Jump Street. It is crass, uncultured, unartistic, and really just a waste of my time. However, if you like MacFarlane and Family Guy, Ted might be something you need to add to your watch list.