I like Family Guy. So much, that I've always said that if I were stuck on a desert island, Seth MacFarlane is one of the people I'd want to be stuck there with me. I found this movie horrible, loathsome, and lazy, so much so that it actually made me question Family Guy. That's how bad I thought it was. It made me rethink my entire conception of humor.
I did not find this movie funny at all. The style of comedy it uses is similar to that of Adam Sandler, whom I loathe. There's a lot of yelling, a lot of cursing, and overall, a lot stuff that's supposed to be funny. There are no clever jokes, no sense of set-up and reward. Instead, it's "oh look, the man is dancing, that's hilarious!". Not. Or "haha, that guy just said the f-word'". Isn't that funny? Kill me. I did find exactly one scene funny- the one in which Ted and Mark Whalberg have a fist fight in a hotel room. That reminded me of Family Guy and I found the idea so absurd that it made me chuckle. But this moment of hilarity is quickly diffused by a "getting hit in the groin" joke. Now, I realize that Family Guy uses exactly this type of humor, but somehow I always found it funnier. Maybe that's the problem here- live action is a different medium and the same things that work in the campy universe of cartoons don't work with real people.
I realize that this is a comedy, but I do believe that even low brow comedy movies should have a basic story or plot. This was supposed to be a character driven movie. The idea is simple- Mark Whalberg is a man-child who must learn to take responsibility and grow up. The script screws up this idea completely and instead, Mark Whalberg makes absolutely no change as a person. Neither does Ted. I realize it's supposed to be adorable that a teddy bear smokes weed, but the novelty wore off in 2 minutes. That, and I found the accent horribly annoying.
I was excited to see the supporting cast list on wikipedia. Whalberg is great, but like I said, his character was very poorly written. Mila Kunis does nothing in the whole movie but play a horribly cliched romantic comedy girlfriend who also has no character arc in the movie. Joel McHale is another cliche in the movie and the fact that he's in the movie is a waste of a talented comedic actor. Laura Vandervoort literally does nothing. I mean, I at least expected her to be the seductress who tries to veer Mark Whalberg off the path of righteousness, but even that doesn't happen. So why even have this supporting cast in the movie if no one's going to do anything?
The plot of this movie was equally weak. MacFarlane uses all of these cliched rom-com scenes and does nothing with them. Here's a small example. This movie has 2 or 3 restaurant scenes. Now ask yourself- why exactly were these scenes in the movie? Usually, restaurants are used in comedy movies to employ some kind of restaurant related humor. Maybe there's a maladjusted person in an uncomfortable environment, or maybe someone has an allergy and they cause a scene. At least someone falling or something. But the first restaurant scene of this movie simply has Mark Whalberg and Mila Kunis sitting and talking. That could have just as easily happened in a living room. So why was the restaurant scene necessary? Why even do that? It's completely pointless.
The ending to this movie accomplishes nothing. Mark Whalberg is supposed to change as a person. The death of Ted should have signified something, and having him come back to life s**ts on the character arc completely and nullifies it. We have no reason to believe that Mark Whalberg will grow up or make any kind of difference in life.
This movie had way too much product placement. Horribly obvious product placement.
Here's what I think. I think Seth MacFarlane is a perfectly competent individual who chose to be lazy. He wrote a horrible script, packed it with TV stars we might recognize, and collected the money. It's not just that this movie had no redeemable qualities. I actually feel like my intelligence was insulted and that I was fooled out of my money. Please don't let movies like this turn off your brain. Think about what you're watching and why you're laughing and don't settle for crap like this.