A teddy bear who smokes pot, parties with hookers, beds pop stars and spews profanity in a New England accent as thick as chowdah? Such a creature could only come from the blissfully twisted mind of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, confidently making his feature directing debut with “Ted.”
If you love his animated TV show, you’ll probably love this: In a lot of ways, “Ted” feels like a live-action, big-screen version of “Family Guy” with its pop-culture references and inappropriate racial humor, flashbacks and non sequiturs. (MacFarlane co-wrote the script with two of his longtime collaborators on the series, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.) He’s even included the same sort of orchestral arrangements of jaunty transitional music between scenes.
Still, you chuck enough of this stuff at a wall and some of it will stick. Most of it does for most of the time, although some of the one-liners and gross-out gags do show signs of strain. “Ted” also happens to be sweeter than you might expect, despite the predictability of its formula, with a climax that will warm the heart of anyone with New England ties.
Mark Wahlberg stars as John, whose wish upon a star as a lonely kid in the ’80s turned his Christmas-morning teddy bear into a walking, talking friend for life. Decades later, the two are still best buddies living together in Boston, although they’re both understandably a tad stunted; daily waking-and-baking probably doesn’t help matters. John works a nowhere job at a rental-car company, while Ted spends his days getting wasted and enjoying the meager glimmers of fame he achieved for being such an oddity. (A flashback that places Ted on the “Tonight Show” set for an interview with Johnny Carson is seamless; actually, Ted’s insertion into all the live-action antics is impressive, even though the bear himself intentionally looks pretty ratty.)
Despite this adolescent attachment, John has managed to carve out a healthy,