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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TED

By D.E.Levine

Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame makes his directorial debut with Ted.  The central character Ted is a stuffed teddy bear who boozes, smokes pot, talks in foul language and may remind viewers of juvenile acting frat boys

Given to friendless John Bennett when he was a boy, Ted, the stuffed bear, fulfills John's wish of coming alive.

Becoming a celebrity in 1985, Ted appears on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, but a quarter of century later Ted is abusing drugs and alcohol and mooching off of others.

Ted's lifelong friend John (Mark Wahlberg) is his chief enabler, still hanging out with him and overindulging in partying, booze and drugs.  Lori (Mila Kunis), John's girlfriend, is pretty accepting of Ted, but by their fourth anniversary she's getting fed up.

Although this is a film that was originally conceived of as an automated series, it works well as a light-hearted comedy with a pretty traditional story  ---  guy has a relationship with a girl and his best friend keeps interfering.  In this case the best friend happens to be a stuffed teddy bear,

Through CGI, Ted is believable as a bear who comes to life.  MacFarlane voices him with a heavy Boston accent and after a while it doesn't seem at all strange that we're watching a bear.

Singer Norah Jones makes a nice cameo as a friend of Ted's.  1980 Flash Gordon film star Sam Jones, looking very fit, turns out to be another friend and takes Ted and John on a wild party night.

John has obviously postponed growing up for as long as he can, a situation not unlike many other guy in their thirties.  Ted's a lot of fun but obviously a bad influence and Lori is the believable and patient girlfriend who straightens everything out.