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Ted

Year: 2012
Studio: Paramount
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Producer: Seth MacFarlane
Writer: Seth MacFarlane
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Patrick Stewart, Ralph Garman, Alex Borstein, Tom Skerritt, Sam Jones, Norah Jones, Ted Danson

I wasn't looking forward to many other movies quite as much this year, but the mistake I think I made was seeing it in a nearly empty theatre. This is an experience to be shared communally, either with friends around a DVD or on the screen with a cinema full of people.

I wanted to be roaring with laughter from beginning to end, and any movie with an exchange like 'You think you got what it takes?', 'I'll tell you what I got, your wife's pussy on my breath', 'Nobody's ever spoken to me like that before', 'That's because their mouths were full of your wife's box' should have had me doing so.

I'm an awoved Family Guy and American Dad fan, and with Seth MacFarlane writing, directing and playing the voice of the titular live Teddy bear at his profane best (see the above), I should have fonder memories of it than I have.

Once again stretching himself far into a genre and showing his adaptability (it's not the first comedy he's done but he's very good at it), Wahlberg is middle aged loser John, who has a beautiful girlfriend Lori (Kunis) and a Teddy Bear that – thanks to the miraculous fulfillment of a wish as a ten year old – has been alive the whole time and is a middle aged pot smoking loser right along with him.

Lori's had enough. She tells John it's time for Ted to get his own place so they can get on with their lives. But even with his best friend having moved away, John can't escape Ted's destructive, immature orbit, especially when their childhood hero Sam Jones (of Flash Gordon fame) turns up at an apartment party the one night Lori really needs John to stay on the straight and narrow. A thrown-in subplot about a psychotic father (Ribisi) determined to possess Ted for his overweight, over-indulged son doesn't do much but provide a thriller throughline and climactic chase sequence.

Like a Dreamworks animation film on crack, it takes liberal potshots at 80s pop culture and MacFarlane's script packs plenty of scattergun gags like his TV shows do. It's just that I was left wanting more. Maybe the near-inevitable unrated DVD version will be more wholly satisfying. The good thing is that thanks to a four-fold box office haul, they'll give MacFarlane the big chair a lot more in future.

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