This week for the “Hype” column, I’m going to be putting Seth MacFarlane under the microscope with his first feature length movie Ted in which he lends his vocal talents to a 2-foot talking teddy bear that is anything but sweet and cuddly.
First thing’s first, check out the trailer below…
The trailer tells us that ‘nothing is more powerful than a young boy’s wish’; imagine if you had wished for your favourite toy to come to life (admit it, we all did!)- now imagine that wish came true and 27 years later that toy is still hanging round while you’re trying to become a ‘grown up’ and settle down with the missus. This is the premise for Seth ‘Family Guy’ MacFarlane’s first film.
Mark Wahlberg plays John Bennet; a full grown man who has a foul- mouthed, dirty-minded and obscenely offensive teddy bear as his best friend. Of course, that has its advantages if you are still scared of thunder and need something cuddly to ride out the storm with or, like many people, if you just want somebody non-human to sit around and get stoned with. But when he moves in with his appropriately cast girlfriend (Mila Kunis) things start to get a little bit complicated.
Who is Hyped and Why?
This is likely to be one of those marmite kind of films, depending on your feelings towards MacFarlanes other creations. Family Guy, American Dad and even The Cleveland Show have enough of a fan base to make this a decently sized hit even if it doesn’t reach out any further than fans of below the belt animation.
However, the film is also a comedy bromance, seemingly not too dissimilar in tone to something like The Hangover; two guys, stuck in a state of eternal adolescence, getting wasted a lot, making crude remarks and getting themselves into trouble. The only difference here is that one of them is flesh and blood whilst the other is thread and stuffing.
It kinda reminds me of that time when…..there was this TV show that had a talking dog called Brian that would walk around interacting with people that never stopped to think- “hang on a minute……”.
Besides the fact that the trailer doesn’t hint at a single random flashback scene its easy to see where the similarities lie between Ted and the hit TV shows; Seth MacFarlane has his own trademark brand of humour that would be instantly recognisable anywhere. Its impossible to watch Wahlberg get his ass handed to him by a teddy bear without thinking of Peter Griffin and and angry giant chickens.
Casting Wahlberg in a lead role might have been a bit of a stretch considering the guy isn’t exactly known for having a genius comedic streak, but scenes from the trailer seem to suggest that he’s fully on board with the tone of the film and flexing his funny muscles just fine.
Mila Kunis seems to easily fill the part of frustrated girlfriend though she is not likely to have many of the punchlines here. This is a two-act show, and even then its clear that McFarlane is stealing it.
Click “next” below to read part 2…