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Even if you’re not totally up on director/voice actor Seth MacFarlane or his animated mega-hit Family Guy, his directorial debut, Ted, should make you laugh more than any other 2012 comedy not titled 21 Jump Street (which, come to think of it, would also make a fine Christmas gift).
Thanks to Mark Wahlberg’s best comedic performance yet (as John, a 35-year-old slacker who pals around with a potty-mouthed teddy bear) and MacFarlane’s voice work as the titular bear with a taste for weed, booze, and flesh-and-blood women, Ted is a laugh machine with plenty of filthy humor. And, for Family Guy purists, MacFarlane’s signature knack for welcomed, obscure pop culture jokes (see: Tom Skerritt and the 1980 superhero bomb Flash Gordon).
What lifts Ted above your typical R-rated comedy, however, is its palpable sweetness. Firmly establishing the 27-year bond between John and Ted, the film is actually a rather sweet buddy comedy; albeit, one that’s aided by the peripheral presence of an unsurprisingly radiant Mila Kunis and a prostitute unable to control her bowels. Bet you never thought you’d hear those two things mentioned in the same sentence.