movies: ET meets Family Guy in Ted
Director, co-writer and the voice of Ted, Seth MacFarlane making wisecracks, but John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) says the plush toy has got to move on, or she will.
So Ted has to get his own apartment, put on a suit for a job interview (‘‘I look like Snuggles’ accountant,’’ he complains) and get a job at a grocery store. Where he nails a cashier.
Ted is no one-joke movie. It has ideas spilling out of its seams. It’s a smoothly designed rom-com, in addition to being a parody of same, and for a while it’s even bizarrely effective as a thriller. The banter between man and bear is nearly as sharp as the script of Superbad. Ted would work fine even if the stuffed animal were a human roommate.
As it is, the bear is such a believable character (thanks in part to brilliant CGI, and credit MacFarlane with deploying familiar technology with such an innovative spirit) that the scene when Ted beats up John isn’t really funny. Instead, it’s a little heartbreaking: You hate to see such good friends hurting each other.
Ted and John are like many a pair of buds who, when seen from a female perspective, bring out the child in each other. Plus, Lori is jealous at being left out of their shtick. She is frustrated when they have to explain a joke to her and seethes when she finds out John’s ringtone for her calls is the Darth Vader theme. A gift for comedy is to men what a gift for style is to women: something they wish the opposite sex had a lot more of. And sometimes two guys’ shared adoration for a bad movie can be as powerful as any romance.
The movie runs short of imagination in the last 10 minutes, but until then it’s nearly perfect. Typically deft is a scene in which John, trying to win Lori back during her date with her wealthy but sleazy boss (the superb Community star Joel McHale) does something that is not only a big, funny gesture but is also sweet and yet gives Ted ample opportunities for dirty jokes.
It’s hard to see what MacFarlane can do to top this movie. Maybe Ted joins a frat with Paddington, Fozzie and Winnie the Pooh? Winnie’s honey pot will run dry as usual, but this time Ted could introduce him to his bong.
Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and Mark Wahlberg in a scene from the hilarious adult comedy