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Movie ReviewsRating: 3.5 of 5 yaps

Ted

“Ted” is funny when it’s funny, and not when it’s not, and boy is there a whole lot of that second part.

When it’s on, this raunchy starring Mark Wahlberg and a computer-generated teddy bear contains some of the best laughs of any movie I’ve seen this year. Unfortunately, the dead spots in between the yuks grow larger and longer until the funny stuff is the oasis and the rest of the movie is dry and endless as the Mojave.

“Ted” comes from the team behind much of Fox Television’s animated Sunday comedy lineup: “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show.” Seth MacFarlane directed and co-wrote the script with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and also does the voice of Ted (who sounds a heckuva lot like Peter Griffin from “Family Guy” with a heavy clam chow-dah ladling of Beantown accent.)

Their crude but witty humor is on full display in all its uncensored cinematic glory, personified by a magical plush bear who’s horny as a beaver, smokes copious weed and uses the F-word liberally.

But MacFarlane, et al are feature film novices, and it shows.

The setup is that John Bennett (Wahlberg) wished Teddy to life on Christmas Day when he was 8, instantly turning him into a worldwide sensation. But nearly three decades later, he’s just another faded celebrity mooching off his best friend.

John has turned into a 35-year-old slacker who (barely) works at a rental car agency.
His girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) recognizes that John can’t grow up until he puts away childish things, but it’s hard to split up these best buds.

Whenever the movie veers too long away from Ted and his antics, things come to almost a dead stop. The will-he-or-won’t-he tension of John’s big decision ends up becoming a dreadful bore, and pitiful attempts at pathos in between the fart jokes just stink up the place.

MacFarlane and his team are best at throwaway jokes and non sequiturs — the same stuff, incidentally, that led to “South Park” mercilessly skewering “Family Guy” in one of its most famous episodes.

For instance, it’s established that John and Ted are obsessed with the so-bad-it’s-good version of “Flash Gordon” from the ’80s. So when they get a chance to meet Sam Jones, who played the platinum-haired hero, it’s a hilarious mix of pop-culture references and self-parody. Jones plays along gallantly, portraying a satirical, hard-partying version of himself a la Neil Patrick Harris in the “Harold & Kumar” flicks.

Other story elements don’t work as well. There’s a whole subplot of Giovanni Ribisi as an adult fan of Teddy who wishes to buy, borrow or steal him — ostensibly for his kid, but really to satisfy his own creepy cravings.

It’s a one-joke bit that goes nowhere until Ribisi busts out some deliciously androgynous dance moves for no apparent reason. One thing has nothing to do with the other, but for a minute the laughs are switched on again.

That’s the way it goes with “Ted,” a comedic feast or famine. If you can stomach the long, dull stretches, you might find the prize worthwhile. For me, this bear story was overstuffed.

3.5 Yaps

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4 Responses to “Ted”

  1. Whitney says:

    Ted was very funny. Ted is extremely inappropriate but cute at the same time. The ALS jokes were a bit of a low blow, but the movie was overall very funny. They should make a part 2 and get Ted a girlfriend.

  2. Megan says:

    I must say when I first saw previews for this movie I really didn’t know what to think. For the most part, I thought it looked, for lack of a better word, dumb. It seemed that they were showing the funny parts in the commercials and the rest would be boring. However, after seeing a screening of it I laughed through the majority of it! Yes there was some down parts but overall the raunchy over-the-top comedy was hilarious! It seemed a little bit like Seth MacFarlane was trying to get out all of the things he couldn’t on family guy or his other shows (cursing, sex, drugs, etc.) but I was still surprised by how funny it was.

  3. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the review. Looks like I’ll be waiting for this one to hit Redbox or maybe catch it at the dollar theater in Greenwood.

  4. toya says:

    i am a comedy movie lover. when i first saw the previews for this movie i thought that it would be quite funny and wanted to go see it. now that ive read this review im not so excited. almost every recent comedy movie is only funny because of raunchy jokes so i feel that ive seen this movie many times already this year. it does intrigue me that it receieved 3.5 stars if the only high points were mainly due to "ted".