MacFarlane, whose obsession with pop culture — and the incessant need to remind us that the ‘80s existed —co-wrote, produced and directed the film, and the end result of a film about a grown man and his Teddy Bear is surprisingly good.
It’s a credit to Wahlberg how believable he is in a role like this; the boyish innocence in his face and demeanor helps to sell the immaturity of his character (the tight chemistry between him and MacFarlane sells it even further), while his obvious movie star good looks and physique actually make you believe a girl like Mila Kunis, (another “Family Guy” veteran and the requisite “girl-who-ends-all-the-fun”), would actually put up with it.
On the whole, “Ted” works best when it’s in hangout mode.
MacFarlane — channeling his inner Peter Griffin — brings a lot of charm and energy to a role that probably would’ve been phoned in by anyone else.
Wahlberg yet again proves that he works best when playing off of a strong sidekick, even if it’s a CGI teddy bear. But because this is a MacFarlane production, it’s rife with pop culture references, but unlike how “Family Guy” beats you over the head with them, for the most part, they work to good effect. The film itself is a subtle nod to children’s films and how magic wishes come true and things come to life, as well as a dig at toys like the teddy ruxpin doll, which leads to a mostly amusing motel fight by the way.
“Ted” is at its worst when it gets to addressing any sort of plot, coming off more as a chore or obligation when all it really wants to do is spend time showcasing the relationship between a man and his teddy bear.
But it’s that relationship that makes the film worthwhile, so maybe sometimes it is good to stay immature.
Overall Grade: B-
Ted opens today in theaters everywhere, click here for theaters and showtimes.