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Review: 'Ted'

Vulgar and raunchy define this seriously uncuddly dud!

One word kept echoing what was left of my brain while watching Ted and desperately trying to stay focused on the action on screen: 'Really?'

Driving home afterwards, I fantasized the pitch meeting for this movie and it perhaps went something like this: “So, we have Mark Wahlberg and his gorgeous girlfriend of four years, Mila Kunis, and a potty-mouthed, bong-smoking, shot-drinking Teddy Bear." Huh? "Whatdayathink, producer guys and gals? Do we get the green light?”  Producer man or woman stands up, smiling ear to ear and extends his/her hand. “We friggin love it. Let’s make this picture!” Last time–Really? 

Has it come to this? Has crudeness become the “Holy Grail” of American comedy so that true wit and intelligence never, ever enter the mix any more?  Was Ted seen as something so brilliantly original that mouths gaped at the idea of a totally preposterous scenario, and this insult to the senses just had to flood summer theatres across America? Sadly, the answer is yes.

Well, my curmudgeonly review notwithstanding, no doubt all concerned with this abomination are currently crying all the way to the bank. So be it. I don’t need to defend myself, but I will say that the laughs from the audience surrounding me were few and far between, more of the groan-variety one emits after hearing a bad pun.   

Maybe one has to be come drunk, stoned, lobotomized or hopefully all three to get off on this orgy of tastelessness. Popcorn and a large Coke just won’t reach those neurons in cerebral cortex that trigger hilarity, at least not for me. 

Early on in Ted, the eponymous hero comments to the four gorgeous babes sharing the sofa with him how totally unfunny is Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill. Talk about chutzpah! 

Seth MacFarlane directed, co-wrote and voices the title character of Ted, which is sadly a one-trick pony. MacFarlane is the creator of TV's truly funny and clever Family Guy series, which also stars Kunis. 

TED is a slacker, dude, in every sense, except he’s not human. Get it? That sums it up and the rest is just rancid icing on a very obnoxiously baked cake.   Want the whole 411? Here goes.

TED begins with a pre-credit sequence that sets things up “once upon a time” fashion showing the child, John Bennett, wishing upon a star that his cute teddybear comes to life. It does amidst much publicity (‘natch!) and soon we are in the adult world of Wahlberg living in an impossibly luxurious apartment in Boston, given that he’s employed in a car-rental franchise. His live-in girlfriend Lori (Kunis), shares the rent, but it’s all really beside the point and beyond caring. 

What makes the enterprise so relentlessly depressing is that we are asked to accept this nonsense as somehow real and touching and to suspend disbelief that we our protagonist is a stuffed animal. If Ted were an animation feature we’d at least know where we stood. 

A really nasty, violent fight between our “hero” and John is painful to watch and a truly horrific subplot involving a psycho-stalker father and his obese son who kidnap and trap Ted brings the film finally to its knees. 

Sound like fun? No way, no how!

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