Ted is Seth MacFarlane’s first attempt at a feature film, and for a first attempt it’s a spectacular success. Although it’s far from perfect it has a subtle storyline, a solid cast, and lots and lots of jokes. If you like the humor seen every week in Family Guy then you’ll laugh at least once. If you don’t get Family Guy then Ted will go right over your head.
The storyline follows John Bennett who, as a friendless child, makes a wish that his teddy bear would come to life. The wish comes true and they remain friends well into adulthood. Unfortunately Ted is somewhat getting in the way of John maturing, especially when it comes to his relationship with his girlfriend. Thus the basic premise of leaving childhood and childhood friends behind in order to grow up is set.
The cast is mostly made up of Family Guy veterans, with MacFarlane playing the foul-mouthed, titular Ted, Mila Kunis (who plays Meg) as John’s girlfriend, Alex Borstein (who plays Lois) as John’s mum, Ralph Garman (who plays lots of small roles) as John’s dad, and Patrick Warburton (who plays Joe) as John’s colleague Guy. The star of the show, however, is Mark Wahlberg, who pitches his character perfectly between romantic adult and immature man-child.
The plot follows a fairly predictable path, with characters introduced early on doing exactly what you would expect them to do later in the film. But there are some nice in-jokes, a couple of cameos, and some shock visual twists that just about manage to keep the audience on its toes.
Let’s be honest, Ted isn’t about the story anyway, it’s about the jokes, which come thick and fast throughout the perfect 106-minutes running time. They’re very near the knuckle, and are likely to offend the more sensitive viewers who haven’t been softened up by Family Guy, but they’re also extremely funny rather than just shocking for the sake of being shocking.
Ted is, in a nutshell, a very funny film and little else. If you like Family Guy then this is a must-see. If you want an excuse to just switch off your brain and laugh for a couple of hours then this is a must-see. Those who like their films to be a little more cerebral should look elsewhere and leave the rest of us to laugh inanely at fart jokes.