Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 29, 2012

‘Ted’ hilarity finds no line too sacred to cross

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Despite the best efforts of the hyper politically correct crowd, I’ve yet to let them ruin my daily search for laughs at the expense of society’s fails. In fact, thanks to great comedic masters like George Carlin or Mel Brooks, I tend to have very few areas where jokes are best left out of discussion... more or less  instead frowning upon those who replace being a jerk for humor.

While I don’t always get a kick out of every gag used by Seth Macfarlane, he tends to tread in an amusing way into territory many have developed a fear to and his first motion picture venture has some of that. He’s certainly proved he knows how to publicly humiliate every segment of the 1980s and this flick is no different winning on so many pop culture levels. “Ted” is about the worst role model for the youngest generation, but is too funny for us adults who can strangely relate to the core message.

Set in Boston, the story follows how a Christmas wish made by a young John Bennett (Bretton Manley and later Mark Wahlberg) for a best friend culminates in the arrival of a stuffed bear named Ted (Zane Cowans and then Seth MacFarlane). At first seen as a miracle for the ages, the magic seems to fade once John and Ted reach “adulthood” as a dangerously crude duo (well, mostly Ted on that count).

What was supposed to be an innocent enough friendship for life scenario bleeds a comically toxic atmosphere into the rest of John’s life from his job with boss Thomas (Matt Walsh) to the four year relationship with his girlfriend Lori Collins (Mila Kunis). Despite Ted’s popularity with just about everyone he meets, John soon faces the reality that his promise to never leave his friend may have to be broken if his own life is to have any real future. What would have many tried in court for hate crimes somehow comes across as simply fun material for the story, even dare I say a meaningful resolution for all parties involved.

I’d have to say my favorite part of the movie wasn’t so much the relationship of the main two characters, but the off the wall supporting bits and ongoing punchline over their obsession with a 1980’s Flash Gordon movie (which includes a lengthy cameo by the actual lead actor). For the most part it was certainly entertaining and worth at least catching for those not in the easily offended crowd.

I’m not leaping to watch it again and won’t likely own it, but would not rule out catching a TV showing or two later on. It’s a decent enough film start for the “Family Guy” creator and I’d be open to giving something else he produces a shot. As a result I’d say “Ted” deserves a verdict of three out of five dirty fozzies.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.