Our friends out at Universal sent out something that should catch plenty of attention; specifically, they sent out a copy of “Ted,” which may well be one of the strangest and greatest things that Hollywood can produce: a comparative rarity.
“Ted” follows a young man, John Bennett by name, who one day makes a wish that a lot of young men–and young women too–have wished over the years, that his faithful companion, his teddy bear Ted, would come to life and be his true friend. While that’s a wish that most any six year old would crave to come true, it’s not the kind of thing that a 30 year old might like. But in this case, that’s just what happens, as John’s childhood friend is his adulthood friend too. Now that John’s dating Lori, who’s been his girlfriend for some time now and interested in stepping the relationship up a notch, will he be able to keep his old friend? Or will Ted have to go the way of all childish things?
Indeed, this is both written and directed by Seth MacFarlane of “Family Guy”, “American Dad”, and “The Cleveland Show”. MacFarlane also handles voice-over duties for Ted himself, so you have a pretty good idea going in what you’ll be subjected to. For those who came for the ribaldry and the gross-out humor, don’t worry; you’ll be well taken care of on that front. Oh, and yes, that lead-in voice over is done by no less than the greatest sport in the universe, Patrick Stewart. He is, as usual, the high point of pretty much anything he’s involved in; hearing him talk about an Apache helicopter in the beginning is like listening to an eight year old boy with the inexplicable voice of a 72 year old British man.
The rest of “Ted,” meanwhile, is reasonably solid stuff. Sure, it’s a little low-brow…okay, it’s really low brow. If the brow were any lower it would be a knee brow. Granted, I watched the unrated version, but given that there were only about ten extra minutes I don’t think the theatrical release would be that much lighter. But still, there were plenty of good laughs in this one. I was actually surprised at how often I laughed at this thing.
But perhaps the best part of this is that it’s not immediately recognizable. There isn’t much out there that’s like Ted. I can’t immediately identify a movie where a child’s teddy bear comes to life and stays that way until the guy’s thirty-five. I just can’t. There’s nothing else out there like this. When you can’t take any movie, and say “it’s X meets Y”, you’ve got something that almost never happens in Hollywood these days. That alone makes “Ted” worth a watch.
“Ted” is no one’s idea of high-brow fare, but it’s funny. It’s crude, it’s more vulgar than a horde of Visigoths, but it’s got plenty of laughs, and that’s much better than expected. It’s also unlike anything else out there. Ted has plenty going for it, and that makes it definitely worth at least one viewing.