Fans of Seth MacFarlane's Fox mainstay Family Guy who wish he would run afoul of FCC regulations every week might be pleased with Ted, the story of a 35-year-old man and his foul-talking teddy bear. Plushies, too, might be turned on by the pot-smoking, whore-banging CGI toy ursus of the title, voiced by MacFarlane, making his feature-directing debut, which he co-scripted with Family Guy writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. Other specialized demographics—namely, anyone over 15 who can't claim membership in either of the above groups—might sit in the theater in stony silence. Ted's overextended, desultory 104 minutes—which include a kidnapping, a car chase, a set piece propelled by Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" video, and a Norah Jones concert—also operate on the premise that audiences can't resist having their baser instincts appealed to over and over again, especially when the filthy talk, gay panic, and racist jokes pour forth from as dissonant a figure as a stuffed animal. But does the bear really look that dissimilar to-- or function that much differently from-- Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, or any other round-bellied bad influence from movies made under the sign of Apatow during the past five years? Like its buddy-movie predecessors, Ted has a soft, squishy ending, one meant to vindicate the girlfriend (Mila Kunis) who insists John grow up, even if the film has so little use for her-- or any female who doesn't want to spread her legs for Ted.
Seth MacFarlaneMila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHaleSeth MacFarlaneSeth MacFarlane, Jason Clark, John Jacobs, Scott Stuber, Wellesley WildUniversal Pictures