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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Ted”, teddy bears & Peter Pans


It seemed a good option to change, quite radically, for the sort of movie I have been watching lately. Besides, a comedy that was advertised as “Family Guy” gets “flesh & bone” seemed a pretty interesting choice. I’m not the biggest fan of the show (in my opinion, it’s pretty disjointed and uneven), but I do admit it’s hilarious, irreverent (mocking about everything and everyone is a healthy thing imo) and surreal.

And ”Ted” is “Family Guy” or “American Dad” indeed. A nice attempt to make a movie that could mix realistic characters with that sort of brutally surreal and let’s admit it, really funny, impossible situations that are the show's trademark. Of course, the “Family Guy” most obvious factor is Ted, the teddy bear, a mix between Brian and Stewie Griffin from “Family Guy” and Roger from “American Dad”. Motion-capture animation has allowed Seth MacFarlane (creator of both shows) to take his recurrent character that “shouldn't behave like humans but behaves like one” to the next level.

With that being said, "Ted" is a story about growing up, a premise that is quite frequent on the so-called “New American comedy”. Along with our peculiar teddy bear, now we have John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg, who is basically a 35 years old guy with a spectacular Peter Pan’s syndrome. Go figure, his best friend still is a teddy bear. The story development is simple. John would need to do something with his life, also forced by his girlfriend, played by Mila Kunis, who wants their relationship to move on. But that would mean change his friendship-for-life relationship with Ted. And there the problems and crazy situations begin.

It is clear the story itself is not original, and some parts, in particular in what refers to some secondary roles and the “kidnapping” subplot, never achieve its promise and feel out of place. MacFarlane clearly keeps the focus on John and Lori, and how Ted’s seem to be in the middle of them. But the script survives thanks to the "heart" on the love-story between them, as the situations might be silly, unbelievable and “ridiculous”, but both Wahlberg and Kunis seem very real in the exposure of their feelings, and, of course, because of the amount of hilarious situations. Pop culture references, job seeking, celebrities cameos, violence, drug abuse, sex and profanity coming from the mouth and actions of the most adorable teddy bear. Surprisingly, all this mixture works quite well, conforming a film that looks more cohesive than expected. “Ted” is not a succession of sketches.

It shouldn’t be topping the best-of-the-year films, but with a doubt, its an irreverent and funny one, with amusing moments.

SCORE: 6,5/10

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