movies: ET meets Fam­ily Guy in Ted

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

opens to­day

Ted (voiced by Seth MacFar­lane) and Mark Wahlberg in a scene from the hi­lar­i­ous adult com­edy

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