Ted. Directed by: Seth MacFarlane, who got that Boston accent from the Mother Ship for sure... and that potty mouth. Just like being there... Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi (unbelievably, seem to me, the medic from Saving Private Ryan, now transmogrificated to character roles, oh how are Thy fallen mighty!), Mila Kunis (about whom, woof!), the actual Sam Jones (one of the several Flash Gordons, hair still parted in the middle, as embourgeoisement--variously pronounced-- sets in), the voice of Patrick Stewart (Captain flockin' Picard), the voice of Seth MacFarlane (Boston mick if ever there were and Lord love him), Thomas Matthew Walsh (the chief of staff from Veep, the doctor from The Hangover, the maintenance man from Community: if it's hilarious and require a clean-up hitter, he's in it), Tom Skerritt (either clever as a rat or sunken into hard times and bellying up to that Soda Cracker of dubious fame: the one on which he looks like Death on...which...on). Hey. There are nevertheless rules to expletive infixation ("out-f#*#*$*ckin'-standing," "unner-f#*$*%ckin'-stand," "Viet-f@#*#*%*%ckin'-Cong," and on and on). Have to do with the stress accent. Some anal-neurotic out there in Blogland will remember the rules if I can't seem to. It's therefore "Teddy-f#*#*$*%ckin'-Ruxpin" and not "Teddy Rux-f#*$#*%ckin'-pin." But that's the only imperfection in this otherwise perfect little throw-away movie.
"Verba sicut nummi, says Goethe (yeah, yeah... I know it's Latin but apparently that Goethe guy knew some...not Wolfgang Goethe, now, but J'Antwon Goethe, guy does the detailing down at Jiffy Carwash): "Words are like coins": You got gold and silver, but also copper. For some stuff, you need to spend that penny, so to speak on, account of gold or silver would net you just too much change to carry back homein the pocket of your Sunday britches. You spend that penny (now not even copper) for the commonplaces of existence, those things that remind us (rub our face in it, actually) of our humanity and more often of our animality: basic, crude, abasing, elemental. This flick scatters profanity, vulgarity, scatology, coprolalogy (variously spelt) like autumn-f#*#*$*&in'-leaves, to the unspeakable profit and amusement of anyone who can deposit his or her pompous dignity at the door of the cine-f#&$*%*^in'-plex. Ted is funny, violent, pointless, unredeeming, vacuous, merciless of our pretensions and a welcome interlude of lightosity after the heavy-duty, lesson-here Boston stuff of The De-f@#*#*$*%in'-parted or Gone Baby Gone (no commas on account of we don't not got none in the demi-monde nor would use 'em if we had any) or Will-f#*%&^*in'-Hunting. Best Boston movie since Slap-f#*$#*%ckin'-Shot and about as meaningful. Sooooo... Little John Bennett, lonely exile even as an eight-year-old, launches his wish to an errant falling star that his teddy bear, the eponymous Ted, might come to life. So he does, ushering in an idyllic childhood with "thunderbuddies" in mutual support. The world watches with a benevolence soon to pass into indifference as both Ted and his companion grow first to troubled adolescence, then to mari-hoochie-shrouded adulthood, where age thirty-five finds them still toking "Mind-Rape" and "This is Permanent" on the couch in front of old Flash Gordon space fantasies and Cheers special-set DVD's. John rents out cars for a living, soon to succeed his boss (the terrific Thomas Matthew Walsh) limping through responsibilities as a $34,000-a-year rental-office manager where the prime directive is "Just don't f#*$*%ck up") and the prime bennie a dubious acquaintanceship with Tom Skerritt. John, has, howsomever, snagged the affection (and the legs up to here) of Lori (Mila Kunis, who bought that sheath dress in the right store), pursued even so by her boss, the well-gened (she the well-jeaned and apparently the only one who couldn't do Boston accent), Rex (Joel McHale, stepping out of The Soup and doing all right as an arrogant jerk). Trouble in paradise, though. Lori (like, don't they all?) has visions of John edging into maturity, a transit he's unlikely to make while his pal Ted remains on the roster. Experimentally, then, we separate John and his "thunderbuddy": Ted finds a job as checkout in a supermarket, sets up in his own apartment, embarks on a fresh and independent life. Soon enough, though, he's luring John back deeper and deeper into his former sloth and funny-weed haze. Can anything at length come between these guys, whose best moments (ours, too) come as they sit sunken into torpor on the sofa, munching Cheetos and puffing on the stuff, trading inanities of such elaborate cretinousness that it's impossible not to laugh out loud (my favorite is the catalogue of white-trash girls' names recited by John in a futile effort to guess what Ted's new tight jeans, high cheekbones, pouty lips trailer-park girlfriend is called)? Yeah. It's a fruitcake and his son (Giovanni Ribisi) who fancy Ted and want him for their own. John tells his teddybear that it's the four-year anniversary of his first date with Lori, that he wants to come up with "something special" to commemorate. "You mean, like, anal?" asks Ted, as his utterly emotionless glass eyes peer unblinking at us. Everything falls just right in this little, silly gem of a flick, from the Boston -ahs to the idiot senty-mints addressed in them, from the underworld of underachievement to the underdenizens who populate it (including Guy Patrick Warburton, whom you might recognize from another sleeper, the 2002 Big Trouble, as a fellow rentalist) and even cameos by Tom Skerritt (the real thing), Ryan Reynolds (how'd they do that?), Sam Jones ("Death to Ming"), and Norah Jones (no relation to Sam and "Thanks for Nine-Eleven.") Patrick Stewart seals it wiht a Masterpiece Theatre (variously spelt) voiceover. Do not miss if it's still out there. DVD promised for December.