Production Companies: Media Rights Capital, Fuzzy Door Productions, Bluegrass Films, Smart Entertainment
Director: Seth McFarlane
Producers: Scott Stuber, Seth McFarlane, John Jacobs, Jason Clark
Scriptwriters: Seth McFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Main Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth McFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi
Release Date: June 29th 2012 (USA)
Running Time: 106 minutes
Well we’re lucky Seth McFarlane’s not just a family guy. Or an American Dad…. Ok I’m out of Seth McFarlane’s animated shows to make jokes about so let’s talk about Ted. While rumours of a third film have haunted McFarlane like GTA 6 (slightly outdated joke now…), the first Ted film was some of McFarlane’s better work thanks to his chemistry with Mark Wahlberg and some genuine comedy which seems unbelievable given recent Family Guy. Anyway, welcome to my Ted talk….
Ted follows John Bennett (Wahlberg) as his childhood wish for his teddy bear, Ted (McFarlane), to come to life is granted. But as Ted becomes famous and then fades away in terms of stardom, John has to make the decision about whether or not he can continue to be friends with him whilst in a serious relationship with long term partner Lori (Kunis) Can John balance his eccentric thunder buddy or will he lose Lori over her rightful worries about whether or not John can reign Ted in for good?
Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane’s Chemistry in Ted
I mean there’s no better place to start an analysis of the film than the chemistry between McFarlane and Wahlberg. You believe that both of them are just good mates having a laugh whilst conveniently being on a film set. Take the first scene of John as an adult with Ted. Whilst it’s obviously very crude with content, given both men are smoking out of bongs, it’s hilarious watching Ted’s subtext of a cute teddy changed and warped by brief fame as he’s now spending most of his time high.
Also, the constant use of two shots initially just for him and John has another piece of nice subtext as it shows how despite being in a committed relationship with Lori he seems to have a closer relationship with Ted. And what better evidence of that is there than the Thunder Buddies song. Once again, the repeated use of the two shot on John and Ted whilst Lori is lying there, looking increasingly frustrated is fantastic comedic timing. Also, it just will never get old that the Thunder Buddies song has some of the finest lyrics in the history of cinema and that’s a fact.
Seth McFarlane’s Performance in Ted
On the topic of the two leads, McFarlane is probably at his comedic best (and worst) here as he goes for every single low hanging fruit he can get. But there’s where the weird charm of Ted is as seen by several scenes. Like when Ted is having a shouting match with his neighbour. Or how about when he attempts to drive John to his job whilst stoned. However, under all the very crass humour there is some heart to the performance, whether intended or not, thanks to his relationship with Tami-Lynn.
Take for example, the scene in the restaurant where Lori starts to grill Tami-Lynn. Here, McFarlane stops using two shots of Ted and John to really illustrate how much Tami-Lynn means to him when he tries to stand up for her. Honestly, maybe it’s just me but there’s a surprising amount of heart here, at least for a talking stuffed bear. But still it’s probably better to focus overall on the comedic chemistry between Wahlberg and McFarlane rather than trying to read too much into romantic subtexts.
To summarise Ted, this is a funny and entertaining film which is carried by the chemistry between Wahlberg and McFarlane. But in hindsight, Seth McFarlane probably regrets this film given he’s haunted by Ted 3 like the Ava Max song. But, thanks for giving this TED talk on Ted a read and if you aren’t a Family Guy or an American Dad maybe skip this…..
Overall Rating: 6/10 – Okay
Target Audience: 15+
Content Warning: Moderate Sex and Nudity, Mild Violence and Gore, Severe Profanity, Severe Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes