When: Saturday, 7 July - Tuesday, 7 August
Where: Various Cinemas, Auckland
How much: varies
Ted was an interesting film for me because I’d drifted away from watching Family Guy in the last year or so. I love Seth Macfarlane’s work (creator of Family Guy), but making the transition to both the big screen, and away from the cartoon medium, was always going to be a huge leap. The film is the feature-length directorial debut of MacFarlane, and Jesus Christ if he didn’t pull it off amazingly.
This movie, to put it politely, made me lose my shit - it was almost perfect. I don’t even like comedy movies and I loved this. If you’re a Family Guy fan, this will be an instant hit for you. If you’ve enjoyed Family Guy, you’ll absolutely love it. If you’re not so into Family Guy…well who knows – but it’s clearly created for that 18-28 age bracket, with a penchant for humour that goes a little too far.
The premise for the film is early 30’s John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) resides in Boston with his smoking-hot girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) and his smoking-stoner best friend Ted. Except like an M. Night Shyamalan movie there’s a twist – Ted is actually John’s childhood teddy bear, Pinnochio’d into life by a Xmas wish.
What starts off as a beautiful friendship in childhood evolves into a typical staunch bromance as they mature. Ted, like N*Sync, has suffered the rise and fall of fame, and now lives with John, chilling on his couch, smoking copious amounts of weed and generally behaving like a vulgar, obnoxious wastrel. Together they live a hedonistic life while John peruses a four-year relationship with his girlfriend. As the big M question looms, Lori lays down an ultimatum – there’s only room for one bed-toy with her, and either Ted goes or she does. Hilarious hijinks ensue.
Mark does a terrific job of acting with a non-existent character (remind yourself he’s acting to an empty space throughout), and really shone in a new light for me. The humour and jokes are crass and a tad predictable, Ted’s in particular, but that doesn’t stop them from hitting the mark.
It’s goofy, raunchy and excessive – compounded by the fact the worst offending comes from a cuddly children’s toy – but essential viewing for adult cartoon fans, and a decent watch even if you’re not. The film packs exceptional cameo appearances which do a good job of covering the few noticeable plot holes.
Personally, it was one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Loved it.