The familiar Hollywood trope of the adult male who doesn’t want to mature gets a fantasy twist in this vulgar romcom. Anyone remember the Big Daddy movie poster of Adam Shandler and a little blonde kid relieving themselves in a doorway? Mark Wahlberg and his pet teddy prefer a urinal in Seth MacFarlane’s debut live action/CG-animated comedy about the titular teddy bear who encourages hedonism in his grown up owner.
As the opening scenes show in this latest in a long line of movies about arrested masculine development, John Bennett was a desperately lonely and blue little boy who longed for a friend. His desire was fulfilled one Christmas, when he made a wish for his stuffed teddy to come to life. Soon enough, Ted became a sought after celebrity interviewed by top TV anchors.
We flash forward to the future where John is a thirty-plus employee of a car rental service and living with his PR executive girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) who quite clearly, has a blind spot about him.
Now Hollywood has produced numerous movies about horny high school and college going kids showing a complete disregard for the adverse fallout of cheap talk and worse actions; let it be said then, Shandler isn’t alone in bringing a foul-mouthed brand of humour to the big screen. But MacFarlane, tripling as writer, director and voice star of Ted, pushes the boundaries of good taste with raunchiness, crude talk and offensive jokes ad nauseam.
To give it its due, Ted is also a story about friendship and love. But thanks (or no thanks) to the hedonistic lifestyle of drugs, booze and sex, viewers should know the film makes for risqué viewing. Again to be fair to McFarlane, the film pokes fun at everyone and everything: Christians, African Americans, celebs, even 9/11. It’s entirely possible that MacFarlane’s atheist, liberal humanist values are responsible for this disregard of convention and niceties. After all, to the modernist, (great & not so great) art is invariably offensive.
The screenwriter also introduces silly subplots involving Lori’s rich, overbearing boss and a pair of creepy fans who want to acquire Ted by hook or by crook. We’re not sure why. Too, we’re appalled by the (simulated) bestiality enjoyed by women; even the lovely GRAMMY Award-winning singer Norah Jones (in an atrocious wig) says that she wants to hit the sack with the teddy bear. Maybe, there is a certain type of viewer who finds such shenanigans funny but we are NOT amused. What to do! We are like that only.