Ted: Surprisingly warm and fuzzy

It’s a wish most children have — that one day they’ll wake up and their inanimate bear/doll/toy playmate will have come to life.

That’s the basic premise of Seth MacFarlane’s (“Family Guy”) debut movie, Ted. A young John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), who is so unloved the neighborhood ruffians don’t even want to beat him up, uses his Christmas wish to bring his teddy bear to life. But instead of dwelling on their time together as youngsters, it flashes forward to a 35-year-old John who still spends every walking minute with Ted (voiced by MacFarlane).

John is content with his daily routine of smoking pot with Ted before heading to work at a car rental agency, but his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) would rather see him spend less time with Ted and more time acting like a grownup.

Beyond the fact that Ted’s a teddy bear, they face a situation many friends end up dealing with in their relationship: can the friendship continue to evolve with the other aspects of their changing lives?

But they end up doing a lot more than just talking about their feelings — there’s Ted’s sexcapades, a wild party with Flash Gordon, a bearnapping, and (since it’s set in Boston) a chase scene ending in Fenway Park.

The pacing is a little uneven and MacFarlane falls back on the formulas he uses onFamily Guy, with flashbacks, sidebars, and even a boxing match with a bird.

He’s funny, although not nearly shirtless enough in “Ted”

Wahlberg (my ultimate celebrity crush) once again shows he has a knack for comedic timing, following his recent turns in The Other Guys and Date Night, even with a computer-generated co-star. Kunis, a co-worker of MacFarlane’s on Family Guy, does a suitable job as John’s girlfriend — although she’s definitely boxed in by a script that doesn’t give her a whole lot to do.

But it’s hard to dispute that Ted is the real star of the movie. The effects are wonderful; he really does look like a walking, talking teddy bear. He’s got a fun-loving frat boy personality who would get along well with Barney Stinson or Stifler — they, however, probably wouldn’t end up boxing with a duck… but, you never know.

Despite the R-rated language of the Bostonian characters and their crass debauchery, the film at its core is surprisingly heartfelt, warm, and fuzzy — alot like Ted.

Favorite moments:

– The Thunder Buddies song

– The hotel room fight

– John’s performance of the song from Octopussy

– The Indiana Jones scene

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