Mark and the Teddy Bear by Arthur Cola
It’s Christmas Eve as the film “Ted” opens, a magical time when children wish for that special gift. Little Johnny, a little kid without friends, makes that wish which would change his life. There ends any semblance to a warm fuzzy touch the heart film. Well you should have gotten the hint that this would not be that type of film when in the opening sequence the Christian kids beat up the their Jewish friend on Christmas Eve. One scene after another unfolds an adult fairy tale the likes of which you certainly would not expect Mark Wahlberg to be the lead character, that is little Johnny all grown up and still with his Teddy Bear friend who had come to life because of his wish.
Irreverent as the film is, insulting every tradition possible, using sex, bodily functions, drinking, drugs and the “F” word at such over the top levels that one soon is immune to the grossness of it all and laughs his “arse” off. At least that is what I observed in the audience of mostly young couples and guy groups, though there were some gray hair people, like me, as well. The last time I saw Mark Wahlberg in a movie was one he produced called “Contraband.” The “F” word was prevalent in that one as well. This film definitely demonstrates that Mark can be funny and get through a film without killing anyone. And yet there is a range of emotions which indeed touches the heart, the funny bone and one’s libido (the part of the brain which deals with sexual feelings if I remember correctly).
And as for Seth MacFarlane, the guy is high on talent and has no problem making fun of any ethnic group, religion, life style, or human relationship. His direction was hysterically appropriate and his voice, as Ted the Teddy Bear come to life, perfectly suited to the booze guzzling cuddly life long thunder buddy which he was to the John Bennett character portrayed by Mark Wahlberg.
Truly, I could have done with a lot less “F” this and that, cooling it on the dope use but then there would have been no redemptive aspect to the farcical nature of the film. So brace yourself and prepare to overlook it so that you can laugh unabashedly at the silliness of it all.
Using the tools of my teaching days I would give the film a grade of B- mainly because of its originality and getting Mark to be funny, a jerk, a goal less drinker without a future and touching at the same time.