Bearly Laughable

Ted

DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane

**1/2

There is only one way an over-sexed, over-stoned, over-talkative teddy bear with a 35-year-old companion can go. And MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, goes the whole hog. Women are to be rubbished, comic hero books to be revered, jobs to be trifled with, drugs to be inhaled without guilt or side-effects, relationships to be taken lightly, and physical violence to be chuckled at. Still, the story of an eight-year-old who makes a Christmas wish for his teddy bear to come real and is still living with him 27 years later, has managed to not just get Wahlberg in the lead role and Kunis playing his unfortunate love interest, but Sam Flash Gordon' Jones, Tom Picket Fences Skerritt, Ryan Phillippe and even Nora Jones putting in appearances (Phillippe just gets a smile in). While the idea of a film dealing with boy-men who refuse to grow up or to take responsibility for their actions must have hooked them on, Ted revels in its adolescence much too long and far too delightedly for any grown-up behaviour. Actor-animator-writer-comedian MacFarlane keeps the jokes coming incessantly, voicing Ted the bear himself (who is an amazing achievement of animation by the way), but what's happening around those jokes and what's obviously coming next is much too overpowering to get any real all-out laughs.

SL

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