Film review | Ted – It’s no picnic when your best friend’s a foul-mouthed teddy

Ted - Mark Wahlberg

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s feature film debut Ted gives a rude, irreverent and, in places, very funny new spin to the buddy comedy genre with its tale of a Boston slacker’s relationship with his best friend – a stuffed teddy bear magically brought to life by a childhood wish.

When this miracle occurred, back in 1985, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane himself) quickly became a worldwide media sensation – a front-page staple and a regular guest on the Johnny Carson show. Decades later the hullabaloo has died down, and the now not-so-cuddly Ted has turned into a foul-mouthed, cynical has-been. He and Mark Wahlberg’s grown-up John are still inseparable companions, although now they spend their time smoking dope, drinking beer and generally goofing-off – to the increasing irritation of John’s long-suffering girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis), who’d like to know when her boyfriend is finally going to grow up.

Of course, we’ve seen types like John and Ted before – they’re the man-child reluctant to embrace adult responsibilities and the deadbeat pal who holds the hero back in life. Yet turning one of the pair into a teddy bear is a stroke of comic genius. Nimbly brought to life by means of computer animation, Ted is both crass and endearing – scurrilous, boorish and decidedly politically incorrect, yet somehow also sweet (take that Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler). True, the film is uneven – Kunis is largely wasted and the story runs out of steam towards the end – but when John and Ted are on a disreputable roll it’s also downright hilarious.

On general release from Wednesay 1st August.


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