I Hear the Fat Kid Running. I Bet It’s Hilarious.
Though I wasn’t able to get the triple feature I was hoping to when I went to see Spider-Man, a double feature was within my abilities. It required that I first wait outside in the scorching Las Vegas summer temperatures for an hour, but it had the potential to be worth it. If nothing else, it would make for a review. And a request, as this movie was requested by my cousin Jeremy. This movie caused many strange feelings for me, mainly because I didn’t feel like I wanted to see it. This was strange because I love the guy that wrote and directed it and I’ve been a fan of his TV show for quite some time. Yet, when he brought out a movie, I looked at the trailer and turned my nose up at it. When it came out, I had been told by numerous people that it was worth seeing, but I could not be swayed. Apparently, they all forgot that I review movies and take requests, and that requesting it might actually make me go see it. Well my cousin didn’t forget as stupidity does not run in our bloodline … at least not on the male side. And so I bring my review of Ted, written, directed by, and starring Seth MacFarlane, and also starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Aedin Mincks, Patrick Stewart, Joel McHale, Matt Walsh, Patrick Warburton, Ralph Garman, Alex Borstein, Jessica Barth, Norah Jones, Sam J. Jones, Ryan Reynolds, and Tom Skerritt.
Young John Bennett has no friends. For Christmas, he gets a large teddy bear that he cleverly names Ted. But its limited vocabulary is not enough for John, so he wishes that Ted would learn how to talk. Miraculously, his wish comes true and Ted comes to life. After his parents (Alex Borstein and Ralph Garman) get over their initial shock, they take part in making Ted a brief celebrity. In 2012, Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) has lost his celebrity and now lives with John (Mark Wahlberg) and his girlfriend of four years, Lori (Mila Kunis). Over their anniversary dinner, John comes to realize that Lori was hoping he would propose, but doesn’t want to marry a 35-year-old who hangs out and smokes weed with his teddy bear. Lori doesn’t want to lay down a him-or-me ultimatum, but it may come to that anyway. Also in the mix is Lori’s boss, Rex (Joel McHale), who really wants to bang her and a crazed stalker named Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) and his son Robert (Aedin Mincks) who want to kidnap Ted.
I still can’t really put into words why I didn’t find myself interested in this movie, but I’m very happy that I finally relented to seeing it. It’s not the greatest comedy ever (but it does reference the greatest comedy ever, in my opinion), but it’s a solid movie with lots of laughs throughout. I don’t know why I didn’t expect it, being such a fan of the Family Guy and American Dad as I am, but it’s always nice to be surprised. A lot of the humor is not far removed from what you’d see in a typical episode of Family Guy or American Dad, but they never do any of the flashback or cutaway jokes that people have complained about in Family Guy. It’s just straight up funniness. And a lot of it is nerdy jokes, which I always appreciate. They recreate the dance scene from Airplane! for crying out loud! Any movie that does that is alright in my book. I got confused by one nerdy joke in the movie though, when it was revealed that Lori’s ringtone on John’s phone was the Imperial Death March. What’s wrong with that? That’s the ringtone I use for my mom on my phone. (That is not a joke). There’s also a scene where Ted and John do coke at a party, and that scene is all the way hilarious. How does that count as a nerdy joke? ‘Cause fuckin’ Flash Gordon (the real one!) is in that whole scene. There may have been jokes that were lost on me in this scene as I have never seen Flash Gordon, but I think I got the gist of it. I didn’t understand how this party was the straw that broke the camels back for Lori in their relationship though. How are you going to get mad at your guy for going to that party? Does he often get to hang out with his childhood heroes? I understand you were reaching the end of your rope with the guy, but you have to let that one go. There were some pretty sweet fights in the movie as well. There was one near the end of the movie that reminded me of the fight from the third Bourne movie, but slightly different because one half of it was a teddy bear and not a big black guy. There’s also a point where a kid gets punched in the face, and that’s just delicious.
The performances in this movie are all alright by me. I’ve never really been too big of a fan of Mark Wahlberg, but I liked him in this movie. He was funny in the movie, and there were even parts where he was downright cute, like when he was cowering in the kitchen yelling at Lori as she tried to clean up hooker poop. Mila Kunis was very cute in the movie, and you felt for her very frequently in the movie. But she’s always cute. She probably can’t help it. And at least she wasn’t Meg, am I right? Seth MacFarlane brought a great deal of the comedy to the movie as Ted, and he brought even more to it as the writer of the movie. You could expect that when looking at the trailers for the movie, but MacFarlane does share the funny pretty evenly with the rest of the cast. I had gotten myself all smug and self-satisfied to say that Ted’s voice occasionally goes into Peter Griffin territory, but then they made the joke and made me look like a real dick-hole. One of my favorite parts for Ted was a smaller moment in the movie, but it was when he was interviewing for his job, or pretty much all of his interactions with his boss. Giovanni Ribisi was also in this movie, and he was as creepy as he was funny. Norah Jones is also in the movie, but all I can say about her is that a Norah Jones concert looks like a boring time. Not because of the music, but because the audience just seems to stand there and sway back and forth. Where’s the mosh pit? I had also heard that Ryan Reynolds was in this movie in a small part, but even that feels like an understatement. He might as well have just wondered by in the background and waved.
I had inexplicably low expectations for Ted going in, but it blew them out of the water. Turns out Seth MacFarlane can make funny in various different scenarios. The movie is often laugh out loud funny, amusing the rest of the time, and even manages a good deal of emotional scenes. Though I’d say the ending was not unexpected, it was the enjoyable way to end the movie. The performances all help the movie along to their inevitable goal of being a fun and enjoyable movie. This movie is definitely worth a watch in the theaters, so go do it. Ted gets “Look what Jesus did!” out of “Somewhere out there are four terrible fathers I wish I could thank for this great night.”
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