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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 8, 2012

"Ted" Movie Review: The Humor Is Not For Local Audiences

‘TED’ IS the big comedy hit in the recent U.S. summer, earning about $220 million. It’s now released locally and we don’t think the average Pinoy viewer will enjoy its kind of humor. Basically a one-joke movie about a stuffed toy that comes to life, you have to suspend your disbelief a lot for it to work for you. This is the first full length film with real live actors from writer-director Seth MacFarlane (who’ll be the host of the Oscar Awards next year), best known for the animated shows “Family Guy” and “American Dad” with its obscene, scatological humor.

Set in Boston, it starts in Boston in 1985 when a friendless little boy, John, wished that his Christmas present, a teddy bear, would come to life so that they can be buddies forever. His wish is granted on Christmas morning. Ted becomes a celebrity, interviewed on TV and with people asking that their photo be taken with him.

The humor is irreverent, lewd, impudent and even involves farts and human waste that can offend those with finer sensibilities. The teddy bear is not just naughty but has a foul mouth, smokes pot and even has sex with prostitutes. There are also many pot shots and references to American pop culture that will surely be lost to local viewers, except the more familiar ones like “E.T.”, “Octopussy” and “Saturday Night Fever”.

John grew up to be Mark Wahlberg, now 35 but still acts like a little boy. He has a girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), who knows Ted is an obstacle in John’s being more responsible. John then has to make a choice: his girlfriend or his best friend?

To stretch out the running time, there’s a subplot about a man obsessed with Ted (Giovanni Ribisi, who has a crazy dancing scene), Lori’s sleazy boss (Joel MacHale) who wants to bed her, and John and Ted being huge fans of the 1980 movie “Flash Gordon” starring Sam Jones, who pops up in a guest role here. Other celebs who appear in cameo roles are Norah Jones, Tom Skerritt and Ryan Reynolds as the lover of John’s gay officemate (Patrick Warburton).

Those who did Ted on screen as CGI special effects certainly deserve commendation. You’ll really believe he is a living being, not just a stuffed animal. The human characters actually take a back seat to him. He even has a violent brawl with John inside a hotel room.