First off, let me say I have never seen a single episode of Family Guy. It just didn't appeal to me. Plus there's the fact that I get asked repeatedly if I was named after the character in the show. Because clearly, even though the show is less than ten years old and I just turned thirty, this is a valid question.
Anyway, after seeing the previews for Ted, I was totally on board. I mean, really, a talking teddy bear? A drug using, hard drinking, even harder partying teddy bear? How can I not be excited about that?
Let me tell you, the reality is even more than my imagination could have hoped for.
Simply put, Ted (the bear) is the result of a little boy's magical wish and a promise to always be best friends. Instead of just leaving it at that, the story actually takes you past where most happily ever after stories would end. Because really, who hasn't wondered what happened after Cinderella and the Prince got married? Or after Sleeping Beauty and the Prince hooked up? Along the way there's murder, a kidnapping, foul jokes, and general mayhem. Everything a lovely fairytale should have.
Like I said, this is the story of what happens when man and bear grow up and man falls in love. Mila Kunis, who I adore, had the thankless job of the girlfriend who is "coming between" man and friend. She did a wonderful job of portraying the woman who just wants the person she loves to live up their full potential--which can include being frustrated and hurt when they seemingly choose not to do so. In the end, she's the reason that man and bear can continue to be, well, man and bear. And no, I'm not going to explain that statement because I'm not spoiling the movie.
Mark Wahlberg absolutely sells the role of John Bennet, the little boy who finally has a friend of his very own, one who will never leave him. One of the funniest scenes in the movie (something that you can see in the preview) is where John and Ted deal with a thunderstorm. It's the kind of silliness that you totally expect of young boys and yet at the same time is mildly embarrassing in a thirty-five year old man. This dependency between man and bear is something that gets addressed repeatedly in the movie and something, I'm happy to say, that's resolved in a heartwarming and realistic manner.
Finally, Ted himself (voiced by Seth McFarlane) is just...funny as fucking hell. I really don't have any other way to describe him. I'm not sure if it's because the character is a teddy bear or if it's the voice or what, but the damn bear absolutely dominates the show. Even in the scenes he's not in, there's still this undercurrent of Ted-ness that keeps you keyed up and ready for the next bit of Ted.
All in all, this movie rocked. Shout-outs to Giovinni Ribisi as the creepiest single dad ever and to Ryan Reynolds as the creepiest hook-up ever. I'm still not sure if he was putting in a cameo or if he was a named character, but he was still creepy as hell. Ted is definitely a movie worth seeing.