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Ted - Running time: 106mins; Certificate: 15 ****
IN any other week a comedy about a potty-mouthed, skirt-chasing, pot-smoking talking teddy bear would seem an odd proposition. But coming so swiftly after the Queen became the latest Bond girl and Mr Bean played in the London Symphony Orchestra, Ted appears positively normal.
Indeed, everyone in the movie that bears his name has come to accept the talking bear as part of the community. He was “born” in 1985 when a boy named John Bennett told his teddy, as little boys are wont to do, that he wished he could talk and then they could be friends forever and ever.
No sooner said than done. Ted comes to life, speaks, becomes famous and then settles into being John’s best buddy. He’s just one of the family, although a particularly naughty one. This is fine by the adult John (Mark Wahlberg) who works for a car rental company and has a gorgeous girlfriend Lori (Milan Kunis). She’s not so keen on her boyfriend’s best friend as he leads John into all sorts of scrapes, usually involving drink and drugs and wild, wild women.
Come John and Lori’s four-year anniversary she’s hoping for more commitment – an engagement ring perhaps – and for Ted to find a place of his own and put an end to their ménage a trois.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd, especially when the third person is a bear.
Ted the movie is a deliciously politically incorrect romantic comedy that lets the bear say and do all the things we’d like to say and do, but don’t for fear of being arrested.
He’s the brainchild of Family Guy and American Dad! creator Seth McFarland, who also gives Ted his voice. Three cheers for someone not afraid to risk offending people of all colours, creed, race and sexual inclination instead of pussyfooting around and spoiling the joke. Even the famous get name checks in the rudest of ways (there’s even a Susan Boyle joke).
Wahlberg shows how good he is at playing comedy as John, whose relationship with his teddy bear is stopping him growing up and taking responsibility for his actions. Kunis is as sexy as ever as his long-suffering girlfriend, who should have given Ted to the nearest charity shop years ago.
Although Ted is a computer-generated bear, he seems more human than most actors we see these days as he swear, drinks, smokes dope and gets a (human) girlfriend.
The only problem is in which category those running the Oscars can nominate him. Or perhaps they could introduce a new category – best foul-mouthed teddy bear. Ted would win paws down.
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