December 14, 2012

Ted (2012)

 Seth McFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis

I strategically put Seth McFarlane's name first in the list of stars for this movie. Why? Because the movie is basically all about him (he's the voice of the talking teddy bear, Ted). For Seth McFarlane worshipers out there, this is no problem. But those of us who can't believe he's been allowed to make three (THREE!) nearly identical shows that are all currently on air, it feels like one very long episode of Family Guy that's missing Stewie, Brian, Lois, Chris, Meg and Quagmire. Which leaves us with Peter Griffin. And whose favorite character on that show is Peter?

There are funny moments in the movie, of course. But there are also a lot of moments where it feels like Seth McFarlane wrote in some kind of inside joke that only he gets, and is laughing at home, thinking about you watching it saying to yourself, 'WTF'? (Cue the numerous anal penetration jokes that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.) Like Family Guy, it starts with an idea that's funny on its face, but ends up being a really long tribute to a bad Judd Apatow movie. That is to say, there are probably people out there who will think this movie is hilarious. And I weep for them. The movie even follows the same format as Family Guy - joke, joke, crass joke, long boring stretch of a joke that takes too long to execute, side rant, joke, long tangent into something 80's-related that no one cares about and isn't funny, crass joke, extended fight scene, joke, end. Please don't think I've ruined anything for you. If you didn't see this coming, that's on you.

I don't want you to think I'm a total Seth McFarlane hater. I actually like Family Guy. But on that show, everyone is making jokes. In Ted, the only person making jokes is the teddy bear. The whole thing just feels like a giant stroking of Seth McFarlane's ego, culminating in a comment by the bear that he "sounds nothing like Peter Griffin." Ha. Ha.

Maybe the whole thing wouldn't have been so bad except I can't imagine a world where a successful woman that looks like Mila Kunis is in a long-term relationship with a 35-year old who gets stoned every day with his teddy bear and works at a car rental place. But again, I don't like Judd Apatow movies.

Final word: I wish I had just been watching an episode of Family Guy/American Dad/Cleveland Show (take your pick, really) because then at least I'd know it would end in thirty minutes.

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