Even though it stars a giant cuddly teddy bear, Ted is not the kind of movie you want your eight-year-old to see. Seth MacFarlane, creator of television's politically incorrect Family Guy, is the writer, director and voice of Ted, a foul-mouthed, beer-swigging, weed-smoking bear who owes his "life" to a childhood wish made by perma-adolescent slacker John (Mark Wahlberg).
Young John was by far the most unpopular kid at school and all he ever wanted for Christmas was for his teddy bear to come to life and be his friend; when he miraculously does, Ted becomes an overnight celebrity. But the fickle finger of fame doesn't tickle for long and, as the years roll by, the walking, talking toy, more than a little frazzled from his years of partying, settles into a routine of sofa-based debauchery with his 30-something best friend. The latter's girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis, Black Swan), sees Ted as a bad influence and would really like her non-committal man to grow up, but will John choose the girl or his furry, fearless drinking buddy?
With a seen-it-all-before plot and a token "villain", played by the wonderful Giovanni Ribisi, the laughs mainly come from the stuffed star as he insults and abuses everyone he meets.
Ted is filled with bad language, sexual innuendo and racial jokes - not to mention a violent fight scene - but, thankfully, it makes no apologies for any of it; and while it may be offensive to certain people (isn't everything?), the humour is never hateful. I'm not sure what the moral message is supposed to be, but although it seems wildly over the top, this film has a winning sweetness at heart.
Ted is due to air on HBO at 10pm today.