Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2012. Universal Pictures, Media Rights Capital, Fuzzy Door Productions, Bluegrass Films, Smart Entertainment. Story by Seth MacFarlane, Screenplay by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild. Cinematography by Michael Barrett. Produced by Jason Clark, John Jacobs, Seth MacFarlane, Scott Stuber. Music by Walter Murphy. Production Design by Stephen J. Lineweaver. Costume Design by Debra McGuire. Film Editing by Jeff Freeman.
A lonely little boy makes a wish that his teddy bear will come to life and, miraculously, it does. Decades later, he’s a low-level office employee (played by Mark Wahlberg) and Teddy is the equivalent of a has-been child star, his magical qualities no longer mystifying the world and his vocabulary one of endless expletives. These two guys are still the best of friends, but it takes Wahlberg’s frustrated girlfriend (a fetching Mila Kunis) to point out to him that they are all stuck in a groove and need to move on if their relationship can work and Wahlberg can ever achieve anything in life. This is pushed into high gear by the fact that Ted (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane, creator of television’s Family Guy) has a stalker (Giovanni Ribisi) who longs to steal him for his own son. There are a lot of terrific one-liners and sight gags, cameos by Norah Jones and Flash Gordon’s Sam J. Jones, and a terrific performance by Wahlberg who somehow manages to outshine his computer-graphically generated co-star (the scene where he rhymes off a list of trash girl names is perfectly achieved). What keeps it from being great, however, is the constantly niggling sense that its humour is much more appropriate for the small screen; it feels like a television show being converted into feature format, though in that capacity it’s about as entertaining as television shows on the big screen could possibly be (it’s not like we’re watching Sex and The City 2 here). MacFarlane does himself proud, though if he never makes another movie and sticks to his first medium he won’t be inducing any tears of regret either.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Song (“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”)