Director: Seth MacFarlane
MPAA Rating: R
Studio: Media Rights Capital
Seth MacFarlane takes his bow as a feature film director with Ted, a potty-mouthed, melancholy parable about the price of getting exactly what you wish for. Mark Wahlberg plays a 35-ish Bostonite who as a lonely little boy wanted his teddy bear to spring to life. It did, famously, and Wahlberg’s character has suffered the consequences ever since. Turns out, Teddy (voiced by MacFarlane and sounding exactly like Peter Griffin) has aged into a loud, foul-mouthed, party-hardy, sexually kinky type who has worn out his welcome and helps keep Wahlberg in a state of perpetual arrested development.
Our hero is smart enough, all right, yet he’s a chronic underachiever who pretty much likes to smoke dope, hang with off-center friends and watch Flash Gordon over and over, yet somehow has a sexy, successful and surprisingly tolerant girlfriend (Mila Kunis). Ted features the nonstop barrage of entertainingly crude, hilariously boundary-pushing jokes, pop culture references and random, idiosyncratic asides and non sequiturs we expect from the creator of Family Guy and American Dad. It’s funny, nostalgic, even touching and Wahlberg’s chemistry with an animated bear sells the premise and gives the movie a massive lift. Ted, cowritten by MacFarlane with longtimers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, is as ridiculous and filthy as you’d want it to be and that ought to be good enough for MacFarlane-heads.