I might as well weigh in on what may be the surprise hit of the summer- the little movie about the talking teddy bear. It's already raked in over $120 million, not bad for a movie without a superhero.
"Ted" is from Seth MacFarlane, the guy behind the TV shows "Family Guy" and "American Dad", neither of which I've seen a complete episode. I tried and tuned out - not finding the humor to my liking.
Seth is the adult voice of "Ted", the Christmas present given to 8 year old Johnny Bennett, a
The only catch in this "happily ever after" scenario is that Johnny has a girlfriend named Lori, played by Mila Kunis. She loves the slacker, but is pushing him towards bigger and better things and she sees Ted as the obstacle.
It's a fun premise and there are plenty of laughs, don't get me wrong. But there are almost as many groans, and for me, they were not good groans. It starts with a Christmas time joke about the neighborhood kids wanting to beat up the Jewish kids. I winced - that's funny? There were several more anti-Semitic jokes and I didn't get one of them. Plus, for some reason, a joke about successful black people and their favorite alcoholic drink.
Maybe I'm getting too old, but some of the other rude stuff worked on me. You drop your jaw and say "did I just hear or see what I thought I did?", and then you do laugh. Ted's got such a foul mouth you sort of become numbed by it after a while. At one point he host a group of hookers at the apartment he shares with Johnny and one of the "ladies" has taken a dump on the carpet and you're like "what?" Well, it was a game of "truth or dare".
It goes like that - a bit of a rollercoaster. For instance, I was impressed by the way this talking bear thing was handled. Ted is not hidden from the world, he becomes a big star, but American culture being what it is, we move on and years later, who cares about a walking, talking stuffed animal? Ted gets a job at the grocery store and impresses the manager by being a foul mouthed rebel. Every time he acts like a jerk, he gets promoted. Love the irony -can't find much fault with that. And the on screen chemistry between Kunis and Wahlberg works and helps drive the story.
But then Seth goes all inside with the 1980 flop movie "Flash Gordon". Remember it? I barely did, but get ready, it's a big part of the "plot". In fact, Seth has a thing for bad 1980's culture and it gets to be too much.
So, I take the good with the bad and come out with a "7" for the movie. But I call that a bit of a guilty feeling "7". I like foul movies that take "shocking chances" , but this one rocked me the wrong way every now and then. Don't take the kids and try to forget that the rather refined Patrick Stewart is the narrator who has to spew some pretty foul lines along the way.